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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

DHS - 747 - Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System - Agency Authority


Committee NameAdvisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue SystemAgency NameDepartment of Homeland Security
Fiscal Year2008Committee Number747
Original Establishment Date12/4/1991Committee StatusTerminated
Actual Termination Date9/30/2008Committee URL 
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYYesMax Number of Members*10
Current Charter Date4/26/2006Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Acting Assistant Administrator for Disaster Operations Directorate
Date Of Renewal Charter4/26/2008Designated Federal Officer PrefixMr.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Robert
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Powers
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*Designated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 646-3692
Effective Date Of Authority*12/4/1991Designated Federal Officer Fax*(202) 646-4684
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary Cmte Designated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Non Scientific Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Terminate
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation Status 
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Agency regarding the maintenance and continued development of the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System. The Committee makes recommendations to the Agency of the level of funding required to maintain a viable urban search and rescue capability, as well as on the allocation of budgetary resources to various System activities. The Committee also reviews and recommends approval of System documentation, unresolved legal issues, and other issues that require input of constituent organizations and subject matter experts.
How is membership balanced?*The balance of membership within the US&R Advisory Committee provides for representation from the various levels of local, State, and Federal government, US&R task force sponsoring organizations, and professional associations. The many echelons of functional perspective provide professional insight from various points of view. Currently, the Advisory Committee Chair is the Director of Operations Planning, Response and Recovery Directorate within FEMA. The remaining members consist of: two sponsoring agency heads, two State emergency management agency representatives, one representative of the International Associations of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), one representative of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and a representative of the Nation's 27 Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Leaders.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The Advisory Committee meets at least two times per year. This frequency allows for critical Committee input into budgetary and procurement actions. Additional meetings are scheduled as needed to address specific issues and review important System documentation. The meetings are necessary to maintain a national consensus on standard operating procedures, organizational structure, equipment levels, training, and exercise requirements.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The US&R Advisory Committee is made up of prominent figures in emergency management and practitioners in the urban search and rescue field. This presence of aggregate knowledge is unique to one of the newest disciplines in the search and rescue field. As a result, the FEMA National US&R Response System has been building the only model, standards and criteria for conducting US&R on a national level. This expertise, of which only a small portion resides with the Federal government, requires a high degree of technical input that is provided by the US&R Advisory Committee. Input of subject matter experts that make up the Committee ensure the National US&R Response System maintains the highest level of readiness possible.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A
Recommendation RemarksFEMA wishes to include the US&R Advisory Committee into the newly established National Advisory Committee. If NAC does not assume US&R responsibilities, we will request that the committee be re-established.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentNoAction Reallocate ResourcesNo
Outcome Major Policy ChangesNoAction Issued New RegulationsYes
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchNoAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingYesAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsYes
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction Comment· Reorganized priorities. FEMA worked closely with the Committee and its Working Groups to adjust priorities in direct support of Task Force operations. These included funding for preparedness grants, ground transportation, canine training and evaluation, full scale Task Force/Incident Support Team exercises and development of those exercises, standardization of standard and Type III equipment caches, expanded warehousing for storage and maintenance of equipment, and development and delivery of training.· Issued new regulations. Proposed regulations were published in December 2002, and Interim Final Regulations are in review within FEMA and DHS. This has been a multi-year process to get to this point, in which the Advisory Committee and its Legal Issues Working Group made (and continue to make) invaluable contributions.· Approved grants or other payments. Previously discussed above, US&R received greatly increased appropriations during the last 2-year period. The advice and recommendations for priorities and allocations of the funds were a considerable benefit to FEMA and to the US&R program, ensuring that program met the highest priorities and greatest needs of the System Members.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentImprovements to health and safety. Medical screening: Developed medical screening guidelines for annual, pre-deployment and post-deployment follow-ups for all System Members.· Effective grant making. Assisted FEMA as appropriations increased dramatically after 9/11 in recommending priorities for its preparedness and response cooperative agreements, including equipment cache lists, training development and delivery, and developing a canine training and evaluation system.· Improved service delivery. o Standardized the full equipment cache list, which will assure interoperability of equipment used by each Task Force, and will provide economies of scale in procurement of the equipment.o Developed the Type III light equipment cache list – a modular response for weather-related incidents (e.g., hurricanes).o Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) capability in structural collapses. Assumption that all collapsed structures may be contaminated. Preparations include personal protection equipment, WMD detection devices, decontamination equipment, other equipment to support US&R work in contaminated environments and developed training requirements.· Implementation of laws or regulatory requirements. With major assistance from the Legal Issues Working Group (LIWG), published the first proposed rule governing the US&R System in December 2002. In 2003, LIWG assisted FEMA OGC in responding to comments on the proposed rule and preparing the forthcoming Interim Final Rule. Provided critical input to development of the Maximum Pay Rate Table to apply to Affiliated Personnel and backfill for employees of for-profit Participating Agencies.Number Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentNAGrants Review CommentNA
Number Of Recommendations*30Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*No
Number Of Recommendations CommentNAAccess Agency WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented*90.00%Access Committee WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentNAAccess GSA FACA WebsiteNo
% of Recs Partially Implemented*8.00%Access PublicationsNo
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentNAAccess OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback Comment*The Section Chief communicates directly with the Advisory Committee and the Operations Working Group on a regular basis normally by teleconferences or email to discuss the status of the US&R program.Narrative Description*The US&R program supports the DHS/FEMA mission primarily in preparing for and responding to disasters. It provides rapid, effective response, uses a wide range of state, local and federal capabilities, and provides timely and appropriate disaster assistance. Originally established and designed to provide highly trained personnel and specialized equipment to rescue victims of earthquakes and collapsed structures, US&R has evolved since 1989 to respond to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, airplane crashes, gas and grain elevator explosions, large fires and the devastating terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. The ability to operate in environments contaminated by hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction reflects the latest enhancement to US&R capabilities.
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Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$0.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$0.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$0.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$0.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$0.00
Total Costs$0.00Est. Total Next FY*$0.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.00Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.00
Cost RemarksEst Cost Remarks
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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-011566Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2007
 COM-013208Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2006
 COM-015174Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2004
 COM-015319Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2003
 COM-016572Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2002
 COM-017797Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2001
 COM-018739Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System2000
 COM-019630Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System1999
 COM-020387Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System1998
 COM-021585Advisory Committee of the National Urban Search and Rescue System1997