The Menlo Park Fire Protection District proudly sponsors the CA-TF3 Urban Search and Rescue Team. It operates under the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As the sponsoring agency, the Fire District has the responsibility of managing the team and making sure it is able to respond to any incident it is requested to do so. CA-TF3 is a specially trained and equipped 80 person Urban Search and Rescue Task Force consisting of 18 participating agencies and 60 civilians. There are a total of 220 members who are available to respond. Those members include Menlo Park firefighters and paramedics rescue specialists, emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment specialists, canine search dogs and handlers, hazardous materials technicians, communications specialists, and logistics specialists. This unique technical rescue team responds with 70,000 pounds of prepackaged search and rescue tools and medical equipment to conduct around the clock search and rescue operations at domestic and international disasters, both natural and man-made.
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists, and many Americans lost their lives during the attacks. Many Firefighters, Policemen and EMS Personnel lost their lives while trying to save others. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) lost over 300 of their own personnel including most of their command staff. At 11:00 am on September 11, 2001 California Task Force 3 (CATF-3) was put on alert. Preparations began for their eventual September 18 activation.
Since September 11, 2001, CA-TF3 as a team has been deployed twice to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ernesto. Members of CATF-3 have been deployed on the Incident Management Team to Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Ivan, Dennis, Space Shuttle Recovery and the Greensburg Kansas Tornado.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the nation's largest and most devastating disasters. CA-TF3 sent an 80 person type one team, a 15 person swift water rescue team and 6 Incident Support Team (IST) personnel. Members were deployed for up to 21 days. Some members of the IST were in position 3 days prior to the storm making land fall.
CA-TF3 USAR Team
CA-TF3 has a website that has information about where other teams are located and training information. Please click here to visit their site.