North Central Florida Task Force
Urban Search and Rescue Team
Firefighters from each agency
rappelled from a six-story
building at the Florida State
Fire College to commemorate
the activation of US&R Task
Force 8 in April, 2004.
of Task Force 8 took a quick
break to pose for this photo after
conducting search and rescue
operations following Hurricane
Katrina in 2005.
|The North Central Florida Urban
Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force 8 Team, composed of
technicians from Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR), Gainesville
Fire Rescue (GFR), Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) and Ocala
Fire Rescue (OFR), is one of only nine teams in Florida. Task
Force 8 was officially activated in 2004 at a special ceremony
at the Florida State Fire College.
The team includes 72 firefighter/paramedics and firefighter/EMTs
who undergo hundreds of hours of extensive instruction and
training each year. They are experts in several disciplines,
including high angle rope rescue; trench rescue; technical,
machinery and vehicle extrication; and structural collapse
search and rescue.
The Department of Homeland Security provided hundreds of
thousands of dollars in grant funds to pay for additional
equipment for the team such as concrete saws, high and low
pressure air bags, shoring equipment, rope rescue equipment,
search cameras and listening devices.
The Florida Association for Search and
Rescue designated Task Force 8 as a "Type III" team. This means
the team deploys with a minimum of 22 members in less than three
hours. Task Force members are also self-sufficient for up to 72
hours and operational for 18-24 hours.