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 Indiana Task Force 1 is available 24 hours a day, locally and nationally.  In cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA), the State of Indiana, and other agencies, the task for can be mobilized once an affected disaster area exceeds their own response capabilities and officially requests outside help.


It is the mission of Indiana Task Force 1 to maintain the highest level of preparedness for rapid and efficient response with an all hazards search and rescue approach to large scale, complex incidents within the United States. Indiana Task Force 1 will work collaboratively with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that its members are highly trained and sufficiently prepared for natural and man-made disasters.


IN-TF1 is set up to perform the following operations:

  • Conduct physical search and rescue operations in damaged/collapsed structures, flooded areas and transportation accident scenes
  • Provide emergency medical care at disaster sites for trapped victims and task force members
  • Carry out reconnaissance duties to assess damage and determine needs, then use that information to provide feedback to all agencies s involved
  • Conduct hazardous materials surveys/evaluations of affected areas
  • Assist in Stabilizing damaged structures, including shoring and cribbing operations


The Task Force is supported by a comprehensive equipment cache totaling 50,000 pounds. It provides total self-sufficiency for immediate mission response and includes:

  • Acoustic, fiber optic and video search equipment
  • Electric, gasoline, hydraulic, mechanical, and pneumatic tools for working on reinforced concrete structures
  • Hazardous materials monitoring equipment
  • Medical equipment to provide emergency medical care


1994      West Lafayette, Indiana (Tornado Response)

1995      Hurricane Marilyn

1996      Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

1999      Hurricane Floyd

2001    World Trade Center, New York, NY

2003    Hurricane Isabel

2005    Hurricane Dennis, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ophelia, Hurricane Rita

2005    Evansville, Indiana (Tornado Response)

2006    Hurricane Ernesto

2008    Indianapolis, Indiana (Tornado Response)

2008    Indiana (Flooding Response)

2008    Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike


In 1991, FEMA incorporated a US&R team concept into a federal response plan. Over twenty teams were geographically chosen throughout the country, with local public safety departments as sponsoring agencies.  Today, under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  there are 28 national task forces staffed and equipped to provide 24-hour search and rescue operations following earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other natural or human-caused disasters.

If a disaster warrants a national US&R response, DHS/FEMA will initially deploy the three closest task forces.  Once notified, each team has a 6 hour window to mobilize 70 search and rescue specialists to report to a prearranged departure point.  The role of IN-TF1 and the other task forces is to always support state and local responders' efforts to locate victims and manage recovery operations.   
IN-TF1 is comprised mostly of Marion County, Indianapolis Fire Rescue personnel and other outside specialists, as needed.  Team members are divided into specialized components of the task force that include: a command group, a rescue group, a search group, a medical group and a planning group.