Michigan Urban Search and Rescue (MUSAR) Training Foundation

The Michigan Urban Search And Rescue Training Foundation has been providing technical rescue training since 1991. Our instructors come from the fire service and have real-life rescue experience. We have taught rescue programs throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and abroad.

Our Business

We have been training in the technical rescue field since 1991. Our trainers have trained thousands in these subjects and are recognized experts in their disciplines. The trainers are in many cases recognized experts that have traveled across the United States and in some cases beyond to train responders in technical rescue.


Who We Are

MUSAR TF is a non-profit 501 c(3) corporation that provides technical rescue programs approved by the Michigan Firefighters Training Council. Since 1999 we have had a strong partnership with the Operating Engineers Local 324 and their Education Center and, more recently have been working closely with Emergency Response Solutions International, another non-profit heavily involved in emergency response training.


What We Do

We offer Awareness, Operations and Technical level training in four Technical Rescue disciplines; Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue and Structural Collapse Rescue. Our programs meet or exceed NFPA 1670 and NFPA 1006 standards and Michigan EMS Continuing Education Credits may be available for our courses… Your department or agency will receive the highest quality training in the technical rescue arena from nationally recognized instructors.

Training

Select the appropriate category for the training you would like.

MUSAR Training Foundation
Members
Other Agencies
Fire Departmens | Tree Rescue

Michigan Urban Search and Rescue Training Foundation (MUSAR) Contact Information

45700 Port Street - Plymouth, MI 48170

Topic Name Email Phone
Rope Rescue Dave VanHolstyn dvanholstyn@gmail.com 616-299-5772
Confined Space Rescue Chris Smith smith@ersintl.org 248-417-7695
Trench Rescue Aaron Osburn ajosburn@comcast.net 517-206-3597
Structural Collapse Rescue Dave Potter davidpotter376@gmail.com 248-245-3491
General MUSAR Inquiries John Cieslik, Board President jcieslik@rochestermi.org 248-379-8916

Course Descriptions

Descriptions of the courses offered through the MUSAR Training Foundation.

Confined Space Rescue - Awareness / Operations / Technician
This 40-hour program meets the requirements set forth by OSHA 1910.146 and NFPA Standards 1670 and 1006 for members of an organization providing Technician Level confined space rescue, including the Awareness and Operations Level prerequisites.  Additional prerequisites include:

  • Firefighter 1 & 2, including Hazardous Materials, Operations Level
  • Rope Rescue, Operations Level
There is a strong emphasis on rescuer safety throughout the program, which is 20% classroom and 80% hands-on.

Course Content Includes: Initial Actions at a confined space incident, Hazard Identification and Mitigation, which includes, Air Monitoring, basic and advanced Ventilation and Energy Control (LOTO).  The program covers the use of PPE, including chemical protective clothing (Level B) and both SCBA and SABA   Activities that address the operation of an Air Cart, Air Line Management and Communications that support the use of SABA are incorporated.  The use of non-entry rescue techniques are included, as well as Patient Assessment, Care & Packaging.  Basic rope rescue techniques are practiced and reviewed and rigging for technician level confined spaces is presented.  The duties associated with the various positions, such as Rescue Group Supervisor, Rescue Entrants, Rapid Intervention Crew and others are detailed.  The unique aspects of Rescuer Psychology are also addressed in a challenging workshop.  All participants will make entry and perform rescues from several types of real or simulated confined spaces.

For more information, or to schedule a confined space rescue program for your department, please contact: Chris Smith at smith@ersintl.org.
Confined Space Rescue Operations
Confined Spaces KILL!

This 24 hour program meets the NFPA 1670 requirements for members of an organization providing confined space rescue at an awareness and operations level.

The program meets and exceeds the knowledge, skills and abilities requirements of the NFPA 1006 Level 1 Technical Rescuer (Confined Space Rescue) section.

Course Content:
  • Awareness Level
  • Recognize the need for confined space search and rescue
  • Initiate contact and establish communications with victims where possible
  • Recognize and identify the hazards associated with non-entry confined space emergencies
  • Recognize confined space
  • Perform a non-entry retrieval
  • Implement the emergency response system for confined space emergencies
  • Implement site control and scene management
  • Operations Level (Confined Space Rescue Level 1)
  • Conduct monitoring of the environment
  • Prepare for entry into the confined space
  • Enter a confined space
  • Package the victim for removal from a confined space
  • Remove all entrants from a confined space
For more information, or to schedule a confined space rescue program for your department, please contact: Chris Smith at smith@ersintl.org.
Machine Rescue Awareness / Operations
This 24-hour program provides instruction on the rescue of employees from conveyors, lift tables, gear drives, and other simple machinery, not including presses. Workshops include hands-on practice related to disassembly, cutting,and lifting/spreading. It addresses the capabilities listed in NFPA 1670 for a Operations Level Machine Rescue Team.

Key Points: EMS considerations, Types of Machines, Terminology, Incident Management Considerations, Energy Control for Rescue, Stabilization, Lifting &Spreading, Cutting Operations, Disassembly Options, Rescuer Safety and more.
Rope Rescue Awareness / Operations
This 40-hour program exceeds the capabilities required in NFPA 1670 for an Operations level team.

This is a hands-on, practical course specifically designed to address the needs of fire and rescue agencies which may be called upon to perform rope based rescues from above or below grade including the rescue of workers suspended on fall arrest as well as in support of operations at confined space, trench and structural collapse rescue incidents.

While the emphasis is on working as a team to complete the rescues, there are numerous individual skills are critical to that success. Throughout the program there is a strong emphasis on basic skills and safety. There fundamentals are important, not just for class, but as a foundation for all future rope rescue training. Each of the techniques presented has been tested and proven; and some will be proven again as a part of the program, especially in the belay workshop. After successfully completing the course, participants are able to work safely at rope rescue incidents, operate the commonly used systems (lower, raise and belay) and be familiar with the techniques used for the typical rope rescue incidents.

  • NFPA & OSHA Standards
  • Standards Operating Guidelines
  • Safety
  • PPE
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Knots
  • Anchoring
  • Rapelling
  • Self-Rescue
  • Belays
  • Lowering Systems
  • Mechanical Advantages
  • Ladder Systems
  • Low Angle Litter use
  • Roof-based pick-offs
  • Ground-based pick-offs
  • Fall Protection Patient Packaging
  • Rescue Scenarios
For more information, or to schedule a rope rescue program for your department, please contact: Dave VanHolstyn at truckff@yahoo.com.
Rope Rescue Technician
This 45-hour program is a combination of classroom and hands-on, practical activities specifically designed to address the needs of fire and rescue agencies which may be called upon to perform rope-based rescues that exceed the capabilities of an Operations Level trained organization. It is also intended to address the specific rope rescue related needs of an Urban Search & Rescue Task Force or Regional Technical Rescue Teams. The program addresses all the capabilities listed in NFPA 1670 for a Technician Level Rope Rescue Team.

While the program includes a brief review of some operations level skills and techniques participants must, as a prerequisite for this class, be familiar with basic knotcraft, anchoring, lowering systems, belaying and pulley systems.

The classroom portion of the program focuses on the basic physics of rope rescue as they apply to anchoring systems, friction, resultants as well an introduction to artificial high directionals and horizontal systems.

The hands-on portion includes advanced anchoring, pulley systems ranging from simple through complex, hot change-overs and the use of the CMC MPD.  Considerable time is spent performing a variety of high angle litter work, both with and without an artificial high directional (Arizona Vortex©).  Rigging to support operations at confined space incidents is addressed, and participants will construct and operate a tracking line offset and a horizontal system to support swift water rescue.

This class also addresses pick-off rescues, using techniques that allow a two or three person team to perform the rescue.

Because rescues involving tree workers are increasing, a module on the rope equipment and techniques used by arborist is also presented.

For more information, or to schedule a rope rescue program for your department, please contact: Dave VanHolstyn at truckff@yahoo.com.
Structural Collapse Rescue Awareness/ Operations
This 40 hour program meets the objectives of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1670 and 1006).  The search workshop in this program was developed from Michigan-specific structural collapse incidents (tornado in Springfield Township, explosion in Flint, explosion in Wayne, tornado in Dundee, and tornado in Dexter).  The building and wide area search methods and techniques taught in the MUSAR course have become the standard for collapse rescue teams throughout the state.  These Michigan-specific procedures are not found in other state or FEMA collapse rescue training programs.

The MUSAR Collapse Rescue training programs are being used in all of the state regions that have been mandated, by the Michigan Department of Homeland Security, to develop urban search and rescue capabilities.  The use of a single training curriculum has provided a standardized response throughout the three largest urban areas in our state.  Those regions are Region One (Lansing area), Region Two (Detroit area) and Region Six (Grand Rapids area).

The MUSAR Training Foundation continues to work closely with MI-OSHA to provide training on updated procedures for safety concerns that are found at rescue scenes throughout the state of Michigan.  Since Michigan is not a Federal OSHA state many of these “Michigan Specific” methods are not found in any other collapse rescue training curriculum.

Course Content:
Awareness Level
  • Recognizing the need for structural collapse search and rescue
  • Identifying the resources necessary to conduct structural collapse search and rescue operations
  • Initiating the emergency response system for structural collapse incidents (Michigan specific USAR Response System)
  • Initiating site control and scene management
  • Recognizing the general hazards associated with structural collapse incidents, including the recognition of applicable construction types and categories and the expected behaviors of components and materials in a structural collapse
  • Identifying the five types of collapse patterns and potential victim locations
  • Recognizing the potential for secondary collapse
  • Conducting visual and verbal searches at structural collapse incidents, while using approved methods for the specific type of collapse
  • Recognizing and implementing the FEMA Task Force Search and Rescue Marking System, Building Marking System (structure/hazard evaluation), Victim Location Marking System, and Structure Marking System (structure identification within a geographic area)
  • Removing readily accessible victims from structural collapse incidents
Operations Level (Structural Collapse Rescue Level 1)
  • Size-up of light frame, ordinary, unreinforced and reinforced masonry construction collapsed structures
  • Determination of potential victim locations
  • Development and implementation of collapse rescue incident action plans
  • Search of light frame collapsed structure (Michigan specific curriculum)
  • Stabilization of collapsed Operations level structures
  • Implementation of collapse support operations
  • Release of and removal of victims from entrapment by components of collapsed structures
  • Lifting and moving heavy loads
  • Breaching structural components
This course is a prerequisite for Structural Collapse Technician.

For more information, or to schedule a collapse rescue program for your department, please contact: Dave Potter at DavidPotter376@gmail.com.
Structural Collapse Technician
This 60 hour program meets the objectives of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1670 and 1006). MUSAR Collapse Rescue training programs are being used in all of the state regions that have been mandated, by the Michigan Department of Homeland Security, to develop urban search and rescue capabilities.  The use of MUSAR collapse programs provides standardized response capabilities throughout the three largest urban areas in our state.  Those regions are Region One (Lansing area), Region Two (Detroit area) and Region Six (Grand Rapids area).

Based on a response system of local, mutual aid, regional and state assets that are commonly used in Michigan, the collapse rescue team duties and techniques taught in this class are recognized and widely accepted as the “best practices” across the state.  This allows rescuers from inter-county, regional and state response systems to work safely and efficiently at collapse rescue incidents.

The “pneumatic shoring recovery” plan was developed from Michigan-specific structural collapse incidents (tornado in Springfield Township, explosion in Flint, explosion in Wayne).  These methods and techniques taught in the Technician course have become the standard for collapse rescue teams throughout the state.

The MUSAR Training Foundation continues to work closely with MI-OSHA to provide training on updated procedures for safety concerns that are found at rescue scenes throughout the state of Michigan.  Since Michigan is not a Federal OSHA state many of these “Michigan Specific” methods are not found in any other collapse rescue training curriculum.

Technician level:
  • Recognition of the general hazards associated with structural collapse incidents
  • Recognition of  concrete tilt-up, reinforced concrete, steel construction
  • Recognition of pre and post tensioned concrete and associated hazards
  • Recognition of unique collapse and failure hazards associated with steel and concrete types of construction
  • Search of technician level types of construction
  • Stabilization of technician level collapsed structures
  • Utilize a “shoring recovery plan” for pneumatic shores (Michigan specific)
  • Accessing victims inside and beneath collapse debris
  • Rigging and lifting heavy loads with cranes and heavy machinery
  • Perform extrication operations involving packaging, treating and removing victims trapped within and beneath collapse debris
Structural Collapse Operations is a prerequisite for this program.

For more information, or to schedule a collapse rescue program for your department, please contact: Dave Potter at DavidPotter376@gmail.com.
Advanced Trench Rescue Shoring Symposium
This 50-hour, advanced trench/excavation shoring, symposium consists of 15 hours of intense didactics and 35 hours of hands on training and destructive testing of shoring components and systems. This course is designed for trench rescue team decision makers and trench rescue instructors. NFPA Trench Technician certification is a prerequisite.

The MUSAR Advanced Trench Rescue Shoring Symposium course teaches the participants to apply critical thinking and system analysis skills to develop and install rescue shoring systems in trenches. Students will learn “best practices” that are based on results from destructive testing and engineered data.

Classroom didactics will prepare the participant for guided experimental learning:

  • Review and implementation of trench rescue shoring strategies and tactics
  • Identification of common collapse patterns and void shoring options
  • Calculating soil forces
  • Use of engineered shoring charts designed for trench collapse conditions
  • Trench rescue shoring system analysis
  • Decision making and shoring implementation procedures
Hands on training will include:

  • Trench assessment and shoring size up
  • Shoring team and panel team operations
  • Shoring void areas of partially collapsed trench walls
  • End wall shoring options
  • Deep excavation shoring with rakers
  • Supplemental shoring with raker shores
  • Intersecting trench shoring
  • Shoring angled trench walls
  • Large wall shear shoring
  • Use of Vactor trucks and wall sculping equipment
  • Extreme soil condition shoring options
Destructive Testing:

Students will learn the purpose and scope of Type 1 and Type 2 rescue shoring tests and will participate in the implementation and collection of data for several trench res-cue shoring destructive testing experiments.

For more information, please contact: Aaron Osburn at ajosburn@comcast.net
Trench Rescue Awareness / Operations
This 30-hour program meets and exceeds the knowledge, skills and abilities requirement of the NFPA 1006 standard.

Course Content:
Awareness Level:
  • Recognize the need for trench and excavation rescue
  • Identify the resources necessary to conduct safe and effective trench and excavation emergency operations
  • Initiate the emergency response system for trenches and excavations
  • Initiating site control and scene management
  • Recognize general hazards associated with trench and excavation emergency incidents and the procedures necessary to mitigate these hazards within the general rescue area and recognizing the unique hazards associated with the weight of soil and its associated entrapping characteristics
  • Recognize typical trench and excavation collapse patterns, the reasons trenches and excavations collapse, and the potential for secondary collapse
  • Initiate a rapid, non-entry extrication of non-injured or minimally injured victim(s)
Operations Level:
  • Conduct a size-up of a collapsed trench
  • Implement a trench emergency action plan
  • Implement support operations at trench emergencies
  • Support a non-intersecting straight wall trench of 8 ft or less
  • Release a victim from soil entrapment by components of a nonintersecting collapsed trench of 2.4 m (8 ft) or less in depth
  • Remove a victim from a trench
  • Disassemble support systems (sheeting/shoring) at a trench emergency incident
For more information, or to schedule a trench rescue program for your department, please contact: Aaron Osburn at ajosburn@comcast.net.
Trench Rescue Technician
This 50-hour program meets and exceeds the knowledge, skills and abilities requirement of the NFPA 1006 standard.

Course Content
Classroom Portion (10 hours):
  • Shoring strategies and tactics
  • Collapse patterns and types
  • Soil mechanics
  • Calculating soil forces
  • Rescue specific tabulated data
  • Best practices for trench rescue shoring
  • Victim release from entrapment and medical considerations
  • Case studies
Hands-On Course Content (40 hours):
  • Shoring collapsed trenches
  • Technician Shoring Team duties
  • Technician Panel Team duties
  • Technician Entry Team duties
  • Team leader decision making
  • Technician level shoring operations
  • Intersecting trench shoring
  • Deep trench operations (15-20 feet)
  • Replacement shoring
  • Supplemental shoring
  • Cross shoring the “repair” hole
  • End Wall shoring
  • Spreader struts
  • Proper use of “variable” strut pressures
  • Risk/ benefit and Factors of Safety
  • Inside walers
  • Outside walers
  • LVL walers
  • Cantilever walers
  • Use of Isolation Devices
  • Use of hand held penetrometers
  • Rigging and use of trench boxes
  • Stabilizing and lifting
  • Coordinated use of heavy equipment and equipment operators
  • Equipment inventory and restoration
  • The last day will include a challenging technician trench rescue scenario!
For more information, or to schedule a trench rescue program for your department, please contact: Aaron Osburn at ajosburn@comcast.net.

2023 Schedule / Calendar

Classes offered through MUSAR TF have been designed to meet the requirements of NFPA 1670 as well as other requirements. Individuals, agencies and departments interested in advancing their abilities should consider registering for classes here.

Calendar View

  • January 9-13, Confined Space Technician – Midland
  • February 27-March 3, Confined Space Technician – Kalamazoo (Portage)
  • March 6-10, Rope Rescue Technician - Kalamazoo - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • March 20-24, Trench Rescue Technician - Louisville, Kentucky - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • April 10-14, Rope Rescue Technician – Southfield
  • May 1-4, Structural Collapse Operations – Howell
  • May 1-5, Rope Rescue Operations – Howell
  • May 1-5, Confined Space Technician – Western Wayne USAR - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • May 8-12, Trench Rescue Technician – Hastings, Minnesota - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • May 15-19, Rope Rescue Operations / Structural Collapse Awareness – Otsego County - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • May 23-25, Trench Rescue Awareness / Operations – Howell
  • June 5-9, Trench Rescue Technician – Howell
  • June 13-16, Structural Collapse Operations – Howell
  • July 26-26 AND August 1-3, Structural Collapse Technician – Howell (broken into 2 parts)
  • August 21-26, Structural Collapse Technician – Boulder, Colorado - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • August 28-September 1, Trench Rescue Technician – Boulder, Colorado - NO OPEN ENROLLMENT
  • September 18-22, Advanced Trench Rescue Shoring Symposium – Howell
  • September 26-27, Paratech University – Howell (Registeration through Paratech)
  • October 2-6, Rope Rescue Technician – Southfield

Prices / Payments / Cancellations

MUSAR course prices and policies related to payments and cancellations.

Payment Terms
  • Department or Agency – Invoiced upon completion of the training program.
  • Personal Payment – Check or cash at time of training (checks made payable to MUSAR Training Foundation), Credit Card call Cheryl Geller at 989-620-0497 or geller@ersintl.org with the card number, expiration date, code on the back, and zip code.

Rope Rescue
  • Rope Rescue Awareness/ Operations – 40 Hour Program @ $725 per student
  • Rope Rescue Technician – 45 Hour Program @ $760 per student
  • Artificial High Directional – 65 Hour Program @ $1475 per student
Confined Space Rescue
  • CSR Awareness/ Operations – 24 Hour Program @ $425 per student
  • CSR Awareness / Operations / Technician – 40 Hour Program @ $675 per student
Trench Rescue
  • Trench Rescue Awareness/ Operations – 30 Hour Program @ $600 per student
  • Trench Rescue Technician – 50 Hour Program @ $1045 per student
  • Trench Rescue Advanced Symposium – 50 Hour Program @ $1045 per student
Structural Collapse Rescue
  • Structural Collapse Awareness / Operations – 40 Hour Program @ $795 per student
  • Structural Collapse Technician – 50 Hour Program @ $1,625 per student

Effective 2/10/2022
Registration and Payment:

After you have registered for a class, a QuickBooks invoice will be sent to your email, usually within seven (7) days. Your payment options are:
  • Debit or Credit Card using the link in the QuickBooks invoice.
  • Debit or Credit Card by contacting our office at (734) 392-5123. Have the card number, expiration date, CVC/CVV, and ZIP code available.
  • Check made payable to MUSAR Training Foundation. Our mailing address is 45700 Port St. in Plymouth, MI 48170

If your payment is not received thirty (30) days in advance, you will be removed from the roster and placed on a waiting list. After your payment is received, if there is still an open spot, you will be re-enrolled in the program.

Purchase Orders: If you’re using a purchase order, please contact our office via email, musar@ersintl.org or by phone at (734) 392-5123. Be sure you have read and understand the cancellation policy shown below.
Cancellations and Refunds:
  • For a full refund you must cancel your registration not less than 30 days prior to the start of class. Cancellations should be done via email to musar@ersintl.org
  • If you cancel between 30 to 15 days from the start of class, 20% of the total program fee will be retained for administrative services and the balance refunded to you.
  • If you cancel less than 15 days from the beginning of the program you will not receive any refund, unless a replacement can be found. Contact us via email at musar@ersintl.org or phone at (734) 392-5123.
  • Failure to attend or cancel will resulting in loss of your tuition.

In the event MUSAR Training Foundation must cancel the class we will attempt to notify all registered students as soon as possible. You will receive a full refund but MUSAR assumes no liability for any expenses incurred. Forced cancellations due to local or regional natural disasters or terrorist attacks are a risk everybody takes. MUSAR assumes no liability for a particular program’s untimely cancellation or disruption due to these uncontrolled events.

Media

Click the links below to view some articles and information about MUSAR training courses that have been mentioned in the press recently.


Trench Rescue Shoring Operations Guide - Contact Ron Zawlocki at mitf1rescue@gmail.com to place your order

Warren Fire Department Training
Firefighters train for structural collapse emergencies in Saginaw
Firefighters rappel in thin air training for rescues at Dow ecent center
Firefighters high above the ground during training
Battle Creek firefighters take part in specialized advanced rope training
Kalamazoo officers train to rescue people dangling off buildings: We're like an insurance policy
Structural Collapse Video