EMPACT's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force is an all-volunteer, non-governmental team that provides specialized rescue and emergency medical services after disasters both domestic and international. This can include locating, extricating, and providing short-term emergency medical treatment to victims who have been stranded, trapped in collapsed structures, or otherwise affected by disaster.
Urban Search And Rescue Teams are critical for saving lives during the first few hours following disasters such as earthquakes. Developing countries, as demonstrated in recent years in Haiti, Nepal and cyclone devastated Philippines, have limited resources and expertise to provide such rescues. These nations rely on a global response of qualified rescuers who meet minimum standards set fourth by the United Nations. Volunteer teams are critical and require financial reserves to do so.
EMPACT Northwest USAR teams are able to independently evaluate response needs and act quickly. Light, volunteer teams are able to respond at a fraction of the cost, with limited bureaucracy, and arrive in time to make a difference in these communities. EMPACT USAR team members train regularly, meet international standards and also have the experience of educating first responders in developing nations--with intimate understanding of cultures, societal expectations and qualifications.
Long term impacts come through our dedication to educate rescuers in developing nations. As we have demonstrated with EMT education in Haiti, EMPACT NW rescuers also travel abroad to deliver critical rescue and medical education before and after disasters strike. Saving lives also have great long term impacts in these nations.