Current US&R System Recommendations & Reviews

Advisory Organization – 21-Day Review – USR 201 - US&R Administration Manual, Annex A – Advisory Organization

The FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) System Advisory Organization (AO) Senior Staff has updated the Annex A - Advisory Organization Manual (2014).  This National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System (the System) Administration Manual annex defines the System’s AO, its members, roles, and responsibilities, and provides the policy and procedures by which it will function.

The primary purpose of the AO, an essential element of the System, is to provide advice and recommendations upon which System decisions are based.  These decisions are made through consensus, whenever possible.  Over the last several years the AO has been very effective and has performed at a more productive level than the previous “workgroup” structure.  Since its inception, the restructured AO has been actively evaluating how the organization could still be refined, improved, and what gaps may still exist in supporting the System.

The following are organizational changes being implemented from the 2014 version of Annex A:

  • Removal of Incident Support Team Representative (IST-R)

    • Leads Command Functional Group

  • Removal of Incident Support Team Group Advisors (IST-GA)

  • Creation of Command Functional Group

    • Creation of Command Functional Group Leader

    • Creation of Incident Support Team Subgroup (6)

    • Creation of Response Subgroup (6)

    • Move Safety Subgroup to Command Functional Group

    • Move Public Information Subgroup to Command Functional Group

  • Move Management Subgroup to Finance/Administration Functional Group with After Action (AARs) added to their responsibilities (6)

  • Updated KSA’s and an organization chart are attached as reference documents.

The following are some administrative changes being implemented:

  • Terms will begin on January 1st and end on December 31st

  • Solicitation and appointments are finalized by December of each year

  • Added Legal Representative as part of Senior Staff

  • Corrected solicitation process to include electronic submissions

  • Corrected the Appeals Process

  • Better defined AO Decision-Making Process (Appendix A)

  • Added project management principles for Subgroups & Ad Hocs to utilize (Appendix F)

  • Added list of Subgroup core competencies and responsibilities (Appendix H)

  • Replaced Resume Template with AO Application (Appendix I)

  • Added AO Letter of Support (Appendix M)

  • All Functional Group, Subgroup, and Unit, personnel are evaluated annually with communications to Sponsoring Agency (Appendix N)

All System task forces are asked to review the attached doctrine titled “Annex A – Advisory Organization”. Any comments are to be submitted online using the System’s US&R Comment Review Form. For every comment being made a new form needs to be submitted; do not combine issues or comments into one form. If the comment’s recommendation is fully supported after review, it will move forward to the next approval step. If further work is required for the document to be finalized after the 21-day review process, it will be sent back for additional work, adjudication of comments, and resubmission into the approval process.

If a task force accepts the document as reviewed with no suggested changes, one comment form should be submitted stating that the task force has no comment. Task Force Representatives should ensure that all comments are submitted by August 17, 2022, 23:59 ET.

Questions regarding this document review process may be directed to the appropriate Divisional Task Force Representative, or the Advisory Group Chair.