This is specialized supervisory and management work in firefighting, technical rescue and urban search and rescue operations with related consideration involving hazardous materials and marine operations with oversight for the day to day operations of a Federal Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force.    An employee in this class has the responsibility for assuming the lead operational role, in support of the on-scene Incident Commander, at major technical rescue, urban search and rescue, weapons of mass destruction, and domestic terrorism events including chemical/biological attacks on a Local, State and Federal basis.  The work requires physical effort and dangers inherent in the work can only be partially controlled through preventive and active measures.  Work is performed under the direction of a higher level fire officer.


ALLOCATING FACTORS:  (The following conditions must be met in order for a

                                      position to be allocated to this class.)


·                     The employee in this class must serve as the staff technical expert in the operations and administration of technical rescue and urban search and rescue activities and programs for the Philadelphia Fire Department.

·                     The employee in this class assumes the lead operational role at major incidents by coordinating Federal, State, Regional, and Local response resources into the operations of the Philadelphia Fire Department.

·                     Only one position will be allocated to this class.




Responds to technical rescue, urban search and rescue, terrorism, domestic, marine, hazardous materials, and chemical/biological incidents, as required.  Assist in the management and direction of specialized equipment and personnel extensively trained in the above disciplines. In the event of a large-scale incident that requires the engagement of Regional, State, and/or Federal assets, assumes the duties and responsibilities of managing the operations, planning, and logistics functions.  The Special Operations Chief functions as the liaison to State and/or Federal Incident Support (Management) Teams deployed to an event.  Assumes the lead operational role in support of the Incident Commander as required.

Operates as the Task Force Representative (TFR) of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Pennsylvania Task Force One (PA-TF1), and is directly responsible for overseeing the administrative duties of the PA-TF1 and US&R Strategic Group that provide recommendations to establish priorities for the Task Force on matters regarding policy, strategic goals, budget and any issue with a financial impact; assists with development of budget requests and expenditures of the Task Force; provides necessary policy development and ensures implementation of all goals and objectives.

Plans, organizes and administers the US&R program for the Sponsoring Agency; directs personnel and cache equipment during operational deployments; exercises control over the strategic deployment of personnel and resources; reviews the performance history of personnel at regular intervals; confers with other participating agency Task Force Leaders and management personnel on the development of plans and programs; assists with the development of broad policies for PA-TF1; meets with public and private agencies to conduct public relations, and to communicate the needs and capabilities of the US&R Program.

Coordinates the interaction of technical rescue and urban search and rescue assets and personnel and their interaction with the Hazardous Materials and Marine Units.

Functions as the primary liaison to Federal and/or State Incident Support Teams deployed to an event and for all other public and private agencies and entities for technical rescue and Urban Search and Rescue Program initiatives.

Supervises and coordinates the support of Local, Regional, State, and Federal training as required for technical rescue and urban search and rescue; the support of Regional, State, and Federal related training as required for technical rescue and Urban Search and Rescue Programs; training in statewide rescue response systems; supervises the obtaining of credentials for certified instructors in all areas of technical rescue and special operations.       

Supervises the preparation of documents and record-keeping for training initiatives; supervises and coordinates the record-keeping and financial reporting requirements for all Regional, State and Federal funding and grants; and investigates and obtains alternative sources of funding for personnel, apparatus, equipment, and training costs.

Supervises and ensures the adherence to Special Operations Command company-level policy and technical-level service delivery.

Prepares reports on emergency operations, administration of fire companies, and personnel performance; reviews new directives and orders; interprets new policy and procedures and participates in formulating departmental procedures.

Serves in the daily management role of Senior Task Force Leader, which includes deployment to incidents as required as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue National Response System; serves as the Operations Chief, which includes deployment to incidents of multiple Federal Task Forces as required, as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue National System Management Team.

Provides professional advice, recommendations, and technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security, Pennsylvania Task Force 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Urban Search and Rescue Program on preparedness, responses, processes, procedures, equipment, supplies, and technologies.

Assists in the continued development of a state-wide Urban Search and Rescue Response System, including the development of administrative policies and procedures, training requirements, training site development and construction, training delivery, financial reporting requirements, logistical, planning, and personnel issues; serves as Chair of the Technical Rescue /Urban Search and Rescue subgroup of the Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Task Force.

Organizes a fully integrated response network from the Local through the Federal level for all of the primary response agencies and offices.  Develops response plan, organizing identified resources into an effective tiered response profile consistent with established national guidelines, thus allowing integrated operations from the Local through the Federal level.

Identifies existing internal and external resources and their capabilities at three levels: Federal, Commonwealth, and Municipality/County/Region.

Performs a community risk assessment at the Municipal/County/Regional level for level of risk and probability and increases the capability of existing resources as necessary based on moderate to high risk probability assessment; develops an advisory, alert, and activation model consistent with Federal guidelines.

Periodically inspects fire companies within assigned command; discusses personnel problems with company officers; inspects apparatus, equipment, and buildings for conformance to maintenance standards; reviews station exercises; directs the inspection of business establishments, schools, churches, and other public buildings to determines the presence and extent of technical rescue, fire, and safety hazards.

Performs related work as required.






·                     current principles, practices, and techniques of technical rescue and urban search and rescue.

·                     national urban search and rescue policies and procedures.

·                     technical rescue and urban search and rescue related equipment, supplies, and technology.

·                     Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and Incident Support Team Organizational and Operations Management.

·                     current principles, practices, and techniques for controlling and extinguishing the various types and classes of fires.

·                     current principles, practices, and techniques of fire prevention.

·                     City ordinances and operational procedures, directives and safety practices pertaining to firefighting, technical rescue and fire prevention.

·                     supervisory principles and practices as they pertain to directing firefighting operations and personnel.

·                     the geography of the City from a firefighting and technical rescue viewpoint, including the location of major fire hazards.

·                     the city’s water system as it relates to fire protection and technical rescue.

·                     administrative practices and techniques related to the City’s firefighting, technical rescue and fire prevention programs.

·                     the methods and techniques of fire investigation.

·                     the fire code and the regulations, laws, and ordinances pertaining to it.

·                     Federal and State level budget planning and implementation of policies and procedures.




·                     plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the firefighting, administrative, technical rescue, and urban search and rescue operations and programs at the Federal, State and Local levels.

·                     quickly appraise firefighting and technical rescue problems and direct the operation of Federal, State and Local resources under emergency conditions.

·                     communicate information and instructions clearly and effectively.

·                     establish and maintain effective working relationships with fire personnel, Federal, State and Local agencies, including legislative and executive levels of government.

·                     conduct analysis of technical rescue and urban search and rescue target hazards and corresponding capabilities and develop comprehensive plans for operations and mitigation.

·                     supervise the preparation and maintenance of records and reports.


MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests.  Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 7/14.)




Certification of completion from the Philadelphia Fire Department/Special Operations Command Technical Rescue School.





Two years of experience as a Fire Battalion Chief and current membership on the Pennsylvania Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 1 (PA-TF1).





Six months of experience serving as Chair or Co-Chair of the Emergency Response Workgroup of the Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Task Force and as a Task Force Leader in Urban Search and Rescue activities at the Federal and State levels.




Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of position in this class.




Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of employment as a Fire Special Operations Deputy Chief.

Possession of a certificate of completion from the Philadelphia Fire Department/Special Operations Command Technical Rescue School at the time of application.


Class Established: CSC -10/04; Ad. Board - 01/05

Spec Revision: CSC - 6/11; Ad. Board - 7/11

Latest Spec. Revision: CSC – 6/14; Ad. Board – 7/14