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IL-US&R TF-1 is an asset of MABAS-IL and serves as the State of Illinois’ Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Taskforce #1. IL-TF1 is a Type I US&R team which is modeled after and in compliance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) / Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) US&R system. As a US&R team, IL-TF1 is trained, equipped and prepared to respond to all-hazard emergencies and disasters, both natural and man-made, which involve significant collapse of multiple, large and/or heavyweight constructed structures. A Type I US&R team responds with a compliment of 80 highly trained members that specialize in a wide variety of rescue and support functions including: search and rescue management teams, planning, safety, rescue, technical search, hazardous materials, communications, medical and logistics components. These components are supported by canines which are trained and able to conduct physical searches and heavy rescue operations in damaged or collapsed reinforced concrete buildings. Each task force can be divided into two 35 member teams to provide 24-hour search and rescue operations. Self-sufficient for the initial 72 hours, the task forces are equipped with convoy vehicles to support over the road deployments and can be configured into Light Task Forces to support weather related disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding incidents, earthquakes, and other similar incidents. IL-TF1 is ready to respond and deploy to all-hazard disasters throughout the State of Illinois. Furthermore, through an authorized Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), IL-TF1 is capable of responding to any location within the United States.

A network of regional fire service based MABAS-IL Technical Rescue Teams (TRT) protect the citizens of Illinois on a daily basis. Leaders in the Illinois fire and emergency management services recognized the need for an advanced US&R team to support the MABAS-IL TRT teams. Additionally, an advanced US&R team provides the skills, equipment, expertise, components, and response capabilities which the regional TRT teams potentially lack. MABAS-IL agreed to be the sponsoring entity for a FEMA equivalent Type I US&R team in Illinois. As a result, IL-US&R TF-1 was created and established in 2002. Please refer to Special Operations Teams within the website in order to learn more about the structure, capabilities, and response of MABAS-IL Special Operations Teams, including MABAS-IL TRT teams.

IL-TF1 maintains a FEMA equivalent equipment cache. The equipment cache is based in the Chicago metropolitan area and is transportable either by ground or through air transport.

IL-TF1 is primarily staffed by personnel from fire departments throughout Illinois. Members are selected based on their training, experience and support from their local fire department. Civilian personnel such as, medical physicians, canine search handlers, structural engineers, and heavy riggers, may staff certain team position specialties. 

IL-TF1 continues to train and prepare for responses to all-hazard disasters and emergency incidents. MABAS-IL and IL-TF1 work closely together and have a cooperative relationship with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) in order to coordinate funding, training, and emergency responses and deployments.

The State of Illinois and its surrounding states are better protected through the efforts of IEMA / ITTF and MABAS-IL. IL-TF1 stands ready to respond and serve our citizens and communities.

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