"Since the early 1990s, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces have been certified, trained, and funded by the federal government. Twenty-eight task forces are located in 19 states. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials may call out the task force (or forces) in closest proximity to the disaster to help locate and extricate victims from collapsed buildings and structures. The task forces represent a partnership involving federal, local government, and private sector experts. Most recently, USAR teams received considerable publicity, and reportedly achieved life-saving results, in their mission to Haiti after the earthquakes of early 2010. Legislation pending before Congress would affect the USAR system in two ways. First, H.R. 119 would designate a New Jersey task force to be part of the system. Other legislation (H.R. 706 and H.R. 3377) would establish statutory authority and federal funding for a USAR response system. Members of Congress will consider FY2011 funding for the task forces during the second session of the 111th Congress, and may elect to debate issues associated with the deployment of USAR task forces to foreign countries."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21073
Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS)