Structural Collapse Rescue Awareness/ Operations

MUSAR-Structural Collapse Rescue Awareness/ Operations

A 40 hour training program

This 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