Urban Search & Rescue
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  • Western Massachusetts Tornado Flyover

    Posted on June 22nd, 2011 MA-TF 1 No comments

    Last week, members of MA-TF 1 had the opportunity to fly over the path of the Tornado for photographic documentation. This was done in conjunction with FEMA Region 1 and the New Hampshire Civil Air Patrol. The flight traveled from East to West (in the opposite direction of the Tornado’s progression). The aircraft was located north of the path, so most photos are taken facing south.

    The first mission that MA-TF 1 undertook on the night of June 1 was to search for survivors and document structural damage in the Six Corners area of Springfield, MA. This is the triangular area in the photo below :

    From TornadoOverflight

    The second mission MA-TF 1 undertook was to search for survivors and document structural damage in the Union St. area of West Springfield, MA. This is the area below the rail yard in the photo below:

    From TornadoOverflight


    Photos of the the entire path of the Tornado can be seen here:


  • Western Massachusetts Tornado

    Posted on June 5th, 2011 MA-TF 1 No comments

    On June 1, 2011, MA-TF 1 was deployed as a Type 1 US&R Task Force state resource to assist in Search and Rescue efforts following an EF3 Tornado that tore through Springfield and West Springfield Massachusetts.

    The 80 person team consisted of Structural Engineers, Medical Specialists, Canine and Technical Search, HAZMAT, Structural Collapse Technician certified Rescue Specialists, Comm Specs, Technical Information Specs, and a contingent of Logistics specialists. The team was lead by two Task Force leaders, Two Rescue Team Managers, two Medical Team Managers, two Planning Team managers, two Logistics Managers, and two Safety Officers.

    These personnel allowed for two fully function teams to conduct continuous search & rescue operations around the clock.

    MA-TF 1 worked with local officials in Springfield and West Springfield to search heavily damaged areas for trapped victims and assess damaged structures. This included the Six Corners area of Springfield and the Union St. downtown area of West Springfield.

    MA-TF 1 covered over 15 street-miles on foot and searched or assessed over 500 structures.

    Click the slideshow below to view the photos on our Picasa Album. There is also a short video montage of the team traveling through the storm and conducting search operations on site.