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NJ Office of Emergency Management
Colonel Rick Fuentes Captain Daniel Mitten
Superintendent, New Jersey State Police
State Director of Emergency Management
Emergency Management Section

Mary Goepfert (609) 963-6818 May 09, 2012

New Jersey Task Force One Conducting Full-scale Emergency Response Exercise In Ocean County

High-Risk Rescue, Canine Search, Medical Capabilities,
24/7 Operations Being Tested Over A Three-Day Period

WEST TRENTON N.J. – Members of New Jersey Task Force One (NJTF-1), the NJ Office of Emergency Management’s Technical Search and Rescue Team, is conducting a three-day exercise in the Ocean County area. New Jersey Task Force One provides advanced all-hazard search and rescue capabilities to victims trapped or entombed in structurally collapsed buildings.

"For fifteen years, New Jersey Task Force One has demonstrated courage, commitment, skill, dedication and teamwork to individuals involved in extremely dangerous conditions," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management. "The team members continue to strive for excellence by maintaining a high level of readiness. Their readiness posture is maintained by a ‘lifestyle’ approach to team management – training, multi-day exercises and a culture of continuous improvement of skills and abilities. New Jersey Task Force One members are one of the most valuable assets the State Office of Emergency Management has to offer."

The three-day exercise, which involves an earthquake scenario, began early in the morning yesterday, with a convoy of emergency response vehicles around the Garden State Parkway, Rt. 37, Route 539, and Route 70, as the NJTF-1 "Red Team" began to deploy. Operations will continue through midday tomorrow.

At Lakehurst Naval Air Force Base, NJTF-1 members will conduct the following operations as part of the exercise:

  • Rescue-lifting, moving heavy objects, cutting and burning steel, breaching and breaking concrete, emergency shoring, rope and rigging operations, and working in confined spaces.
  • Technical search operations and use of canines to aid search and rescues.
  • Setting-up small field hospital and treatment of trapped victims for "crush syndrome"
  • Hazardous materials field monitoring and decontamination
  • Engineering and structural assessments
  • Command and control, developing the incident action plan and documenting operations.

New Jersey Task Force One was established in 1997. Team members are volunteers who may also hold full-time positions as career firefighters, police officers, EMT's, NJ State Troopers, state and local government employees, or medical professionals. They represent each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The team has responded to numerous events, including the World Trade Center bombing and Hurricane Irene. In the four days following Hurricane Irene, NJ TF-1 completed over 300 rescues in the Passaic River Basin area, forty percent of which were considered high-risk.

Team personnel, training and equipment standards meet or exceed standards established by the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Response System and the National Fire Protection Association. New Jersey TF-1, in a partnership with Rutgers University, also develops, delivers, and/or coordinate urban search and rescue training courses, such as Structural Collapse Operations & Technician, Trench Collapse Operations, Confines Space Operations, Rope Rescue (Basic & Advanced), and Swift water Rescue Technician. NJ TF-1 training programs meet and/or exceed the requirements that are set forth by the FEMA US&R System.



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