The development of the current urban search and rescue program (ESF-9): A policy perspective


  • Brad Greenberg, MD, MPA



urban search and rescue, disaster medicine, US&R, disaster response, policy, homeland security


This article explores the origins of the current urban search and rescue (US&R) program, its philosophical foundations, and examines the history of the catastrophic events that punctuated the stepwise development of national policy and legislation enabling the federal government to conduct such a program. Since its inception, the program goal was to structure existing local assets into an integrated task force capable of national and international response. Past events—natural, political, and terrorist—deeply affected the development of the US&R Response system. It has matured over time, but remains dynamic.

Author Biography

Brad Greenberg, MD, MPA

Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for Disaster Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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How to Cite

Greenberg, MD, MPA, B. “The Development of the Current Urban Search and Rescue Program (ESF-9): A Policy Perspective”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 6, no. 2, Mar. 2008, pp. 55-59, doi:10.5055/jem.2008.0013.