What is the State Urban Search & Rescue Alliance?


The State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance (SUSAR) was formed in 2005 with the first conference in Columbia, South Carolina.  The dream of the first organizers was to develop a mechanism to share ideas and to learn from each other.  That goal is still alive today.  SUSAR exists to provide a support system to the Urban Search and Rescue community across the nation. The SUSAR Alliance currently represents organizations and individuals that are part of local, regional, tribal, and state US&R resources, and also includes federal US&R resources.  The focus of the SUSAR Alliance is about the capability to provide all hazards, search and rescue resources for the purpose of saving lives in communities around the country that are devastated by natural and man-made events that extend beyond the normal capabilities of first responders in those communities. 

The SUSAR Alliance exists to further the capability of search and rescue resources all over the country regardless of agency affiliation. It exists to share and to learn from each other so that the capability to respond continually improves. It exists to explore ways in which we can work together to respond more quickly. It exists to create and develop standards of preparedness and operational response that continually push the envelope of capability. It exists to educate and to develop new resources within our communities. It exists to develop partnerships with all stakeholders, including our military partners and manufacturers and vendors who develop products to enhance the performance capability of US&R resources around the country. It exists to create a mechanism for communication with each other so that we can continually improve the service we provide. 


Our Misson

Support and conduct research, education, and informational activities to benefit the communities served by state-level US&R teams; to provide teams a voice in the US&R community; to stimulate the exchange of information among persons and organizations thus engaged in US&R and to disseminate such information; and to develop, adopt, and utilize standards for participants and teams engaged in US&R.




SUSAR started informally with discussion between the task force leaders of several states, including South Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois. They decided that state level teams would benefit from a more formal exchange of ideas. The first meeting was in South Carolina in July 2005, and 18 states were represented, as well as Puerto Rico. By the second meeting the group had grown to 26 states. The State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance was formally adopted in August 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina. As of March 2007, 41 states were participating in the Alliance.

Message from the Board 


Believing the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance is the future for US&R development in the United States, this Board’s goals for the SUSAR Alliance are to carry out the Mission and Vision of the organization to support sustainable US&R resources in local, regional, and state jurisdictions and develop partnerships and standards that will enable more effective and efficient response to disasters around the country. We plan to grow the organization to represent the needs and interests of all US&R Task Forces and members.