Special Response Teams
Technical Rescue Team
History And Start-Up
In early 2004, the Butler County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) approached several fire chiefs and firefighters with the concept of the Butler County Technical Rescue Team. Out of that conversation, the Tech Rescue Team was born. The EMA and this group of firefighters and fire officers in the county recognized the benefit that could be derived from having fire departments and other public safety agencies, as well as private industry partners in Butler County, work cooperatively to provide a very technical and cost effective service. This concept was supported by the EMA with a Homeland Security Grant, which funded the initial $550,000 in equipment and vehicle costs. An executive board was formed through the EMA and the Butler County Fire Chiefs Association to oversee the development of the team.
The process to procure equipment and a vehicle continued for the next year. In June of 2005, the county took possession of the above pictured truck, which is dedicated to Technical Rescue. This truck was outfitted with state of the art rescue equipment. The executive board and the original group of fire officers and firefighters, now termed the rescue team managers, began to recruit and plan for training of the team. In late 2006, Sinclair Community College was contracted for certification training of team members needing Technical Rescue Technician training. This training was funded by a grant from the EMA.
During the recruitment process, the EMA recruited fire department members from the city of Hamilton, city of Fairfield, Liberty Twp, city of Monroe, city of Middletown, and West Chester Twp. The membership is open to all Butler County public safety departments, as well as private industry partners.
To streamline management of the newly formed team, an executive board was formalized. This executive management team is comprised of two representatives from the Butler County Fire Chief’s Association, two rescue team managers, the EMA director, and a Butler County Commission representative.
Because of the regional service this team provides, the team became eligible for state homeland security and UASI funding, which has provided more than $1 million dollars worth of training and equipment at no cost to the citizens of Butler County.
In 2008, team management recognized the benefit of providing urban search services and undertook planning, grant applications and training to expand the team's services.
In 2009, the team recognized that grant funding could not sustain the day-to-day operational costs and received $29,500 funding for 2010 from the Butler County Commissioners.
Currently, the executive board, rescue team managers, the EMA and the 50 plus team members are actively working to become an all-hazards response team, focusing focuses on technical rescue. Current projects include developing a regional water rescue team, collaborating with Butler Tech public safety in training ventures and creating logistical support for the technical rescue team as well as the other regional teams.