Tennessee Task Force 2 - Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) administratively functions out of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management. It builds on the established rescue capabilities of the Nashville Fire Department by incorporating structural engineers, heavy equipment operators, and specialist in searching, rigging, hazmat, canine, medical, and evidence preservation to support first responders at structural collapse and confined space incidents. The multi-department USAR task force was established by a Nashville mayoral executive order in 1995. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency authorized the state designation of Tennessee Task Force 2 (TN-TF 2) after the team met the required federal standards.
USAR consists of more than 100 specialists from several Metro Nashville departments who respond to structural collapse incidents using high-tech fiber optic cameras, listening devices, and trained search dogs to locate trapped victims. Team engineers devise plans to access trapped victims while other USAR specialists use concrete cutting tools, heavy equipment, and rigging equipment to stabilize the structure, so personnel can perform rescue operations.
The Metro Nashville Police department is part of the Tennessee Task Force 2. The Police Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) unit is comprised of officers from throughout the department who have received specialized training including confined space rescue, structural collapse, shoring techniques, and other FEMA requirements for certified rescue specialists. These officers are part of the Metropolitan Nashville team of specialists that form Tennessee Task Force 2.
Specialists from several MNPD sections utilize their expertise and specialized equipment in response to structural collapses, missing or lost persons, searches for items or evidence, disaster responses, swift water rescues, and provide perimeter security control at emergency scenes.