Urban Search & Rescue Team

The Montgomery County Urban Search and Rescue (MCUS&R) Team falls under the Operations section of Montgomery County Emergency Management. The Team is a county-wide resource for municipalities/departments to utilize for incidents that are more technical in nature.


Montgomery County US&R is able to assist in structural collapse (breaching / breaking, shoring), technical search (visual, acoustic & wide area), heavy lifting, trench rescue, confined space rescue, specialized rope rescue, and flood / swift water incidents.

USAR patch

Training Levels

All US&R members are trained to NFPA 1670 and most are at the NFPA 1006 or FEMA levels. Most members are also technician level in rope, confined space, trench, vehicle/machinery, structural collapse, and water.

Examples of advanced training:

  • FEMA Heavy Rigging Specialist
  • FEMA Structural Collapse Specialist
  • FEMA Technical Search Specialist
  • FEMA Wide Area Search
  • FEMA Medical Specialist
  • FEMA Structure Specialist
  • Type III Planning Manager                
  • Paratech Advanced Structural Collapse
  • Tower Rescue

Team Structure

US&R is composed of local-level emergency responders from municipalities throughout Montgomery County. We have (1) Task Force Leader, (4) Rescue Squad Officers, and numerous Rescue Specialists. Montgomery County US&R partners with the Montgomery County Hazardous Materials Response Team when specialized atmospheric monitoring equipment is needed.


  • Task Force Leader (US&R 1): Joe Dishler
  • Deputy Task Force Leader (US&R 2): Jim Staufenberg
  • Rescue Squad Officer (US&R 3): Dave Ellick
  • Rescue Squad Officer (US&R 4): TJ Hamel
  • Rescue Squad Officer (US&R 5): Andrew McIntyre
  • Rescue Squad Officer (US&R 6): John Mahon

Command Structure

The US&R Task Force Leader is responsible for managing all Task Force activities during an event, directs/supervises the Rescue Squad Officers (RSO) and works with the HazMat, Medical, and Logistics section leaders. MCUS&R operates within the established command structure of a local incident.

Levels of Response

A municipality or department can request a US&R officer (24/7) to an incident for a consultation or to bring a specialized piece of equipment (example: technical search camera).  If upon arrival it is deemed that more resources are needed, a full team dispatch will be executed.  US&R members will respond to the Montgomery County Fire Academy to staff apparatus while a Task Force Leader or Rescue Squad Officer will respond directly to your incident.  MCUS&R can have 8-12 members on scene within 1 hour.

Reasons to Request US&R

  1. Specialized equipment or skill sets required to safely handle an event. 
  2. To assist on an incident in which you have limited resources
  3. Safety – Technical rescue events are not every day occurrences.  Use our team to fulfill the safety/RIT requirements for your rescue operations.