North Carolina Strike Force 1.
Ever heard of that entity?
They were the state’s first Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, organized in the late 1990s. They were conceived as regional technical rescue team that was based in Forsyth and Davidson counties.
They were incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2000, and renamed from “Strike Force” to “Task Force” in May 2000. Two years later, they shortened their name to NCTF-1.
But wait, Batman, the state-sponsored USAR task forces weren’t created until 2003. What’s the story here?
Thanks to some readers and a recent discussion on social media, here’s a history of the organization, as well as one of their founding agencies, the now-defunct Forsyth Rescue Squad.
Plus a history of the North Carolina USAR program, and even some information on rescue squads no longer operating in Forsyth County.
- 1959 – Forsyth Rescue Squad (FRS) chartered.
- 1962 – FRS incorporated.
- 1969 – FRS adds first technical rescue truck.
- 1989 – National USAR response system created, using city- and county-based teams.
- 1995 – After Oklahoma City bombing, states begin developing USAR teams.
- 1998 – North Carolina Strike Force 1 (NCSF1) created as regional technical response team, as joint venture between FRS and Thomasville Rescue Squad.
- 1999 – North Carolina Canine Emergency Response Team (NCCERT), as a statewide search and rescue resource, and a participating agency in NCSF1 with a home base at FRS.
- 1999 – First deployment of NCSF1.
- 2000c – NCSF1 adds Troutman Fire-Rescue.
- 2000 – NCSF1 incorporated.
- 2000 – NCCERT incorporated.
- 2001 – NCSF1 renamed North Carolina Task Force 1 (NCTF1).
- 2001 – After events of September 11, federal monies made available through NC EM, to develop statewide USAR program.
- 2002 – State implements progressive plan to establish regional USAR teams.
- 2002 – NCTF1 renamed “NCTF1”, abbreviated.
- 2003 – State identifies eleven regional USAR teams
- 2003 – NCTF1 begins operating as a state team named North Carolina USAR Task Force 4.
- 2003 – FRS disbands. Most of their vehicles and equipment disposed to NCCERT.
- 2004 – NCCERT relocates home base to Apex, NC, and partners with Apex FD.
- 2004 – Task Force 4 adds Apex FD.
- 2006 – Task Force 4 adds Morrisville FD.
- 2013 – State streamlines USAR teams, dissolves four teams.
- 2013 – Task Force 4 dissolved.