Technical Rescue Task Force (HCTRTF)
The Hunterdon County Technical Rescue Task Force (HCTRTF) is a joint effort between South Branch Emergency Services, Flemington - Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad, Whitehouse Rescue Squad, Lambertville Fire Department District 1, and the Hunterdon County Division of Emergency Management. Additionally, the Hunterdon County Hazardous Materials Response Unit also supports the mission of the HCTRTF. Having been originally organized in 2004, the current participating agencies have a significant investment in the task force, including highly trained personnel as well as an extensive equipment cache that is required to respond and mitigate these types of "High Risk - Low Frequency" emergencies. The HCTRTF has not only operated at incidents within Hunterdon County, but has also responded on numerous mutual aid requests to other counties in the region. Unless already employed by the Hunterdon County Department of Public Safety, all members and prospective applicants must be with one of the above partnering agencies.
The HCTRTF follows the service levels outlined in NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents. Specialized rescue training for the team is provided through the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center and through other recognized training providers.
Incidents Warranting Response
The HCTRTF responds to unusual technical rescue incidents that include but are not limited to the following:
- Confined Space Rescue (Technician Level Capability)
- Trench Rescue (Technician Level Capability)
- High Angle Rescue (Technician Level Capability)
- Structural Collapse / Urban Search and Rescue (Operations Level Capability)
- Transportation Accidents or Industrial Accidents with Complicated Extrication Problems
- Any other incident where HCTRTF resources and/or support may assist with a positive incident resolution
Qualifications & Training
Members of the technical rescue task force are expected to perform complicated and physically demanding tasks during the rescue of trapped persons from oftentimes dangerous situations.
Rescue Specialists are expected to achieve and maintain NFPA 1670 Technician Level training in Vehicle Rescue, and a minimum of Operations Level training in Confined Space, High Angle, Trench and Structural Collapse Rescue, as well as a number of other minimum qualifications in areas such as hazardous materials and flood rescue. Minimum certification to the EMS First Responder level is also required, with most members certified as Emergency Medical Technicians. HCTRTF is an "all-hazards" response team, and as such requires personnel to be familiar with a broad scope of technical rescue training and operations.