United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jan 29, 2023
The term “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The term “Agency” means the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The term “hazard” has the meaning given the term in section 5195a of this title.
The term “nonemployee System member” means a System member not employed by a sponsoring agency or participating agency.
The term “participating agency” means a State or local government, nonprofit organization, or private organization that has executed an agreement with a sponsoring agency to participate in the System.
The term “sponsoring agency” means a State or local government that is the sponsor of a task force designated by the Administrator to participate in the System.
The term “System” means the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System to be administered under this section.
The term “System member” means an individual who is not a full-time employee of the Federal Government and who serves on a task force or on a System management or other technical team.
The term “task force” means an urban search and rescue team designated by the Administrator to participate in the System.
Subject to the requirements of this section, the Administrator shall continue to administer the emergency response system known as the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System.
In administering the System, the Administrator shall provide for a national network of standardized search and rescue resources to assist States and local governments in responding to hazards.
The Administrator shall designate task forces to participate in the System. The Administration shall determine the criteria for such participation.
Each task force shall have a sponsoring agency. The Administrator shall enter into an agreement with the sponsoring agency with respect to the participation of each task force in the System.
A task force may include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, one or more participating agencies. The sponsoring agency shall enter into an agreement with each participating agency with respect to the participation of the participating agency on the task force.
A task force may also include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, other individuals not otherwise associated with the sponsoring agency or a participating agency. The sponsoring agency of a task force may enter into a separate agreement with each such individual with respect to the participation of the individual on the task force.
The Administrator shall maintain such management teams and other technical teams as the Administrator determines are necessary to administer the System.
The Administrator may appoint a System member into Federal service for a period of service to provide for the participation of the System member in exercises, preincident staging, major disaster and emergency response activities, and training events sponsored or sanctioned by the Administrator.
The Administrator may make appointments under paragraph (1) without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service.
The authority of the Administrator to make appointments under this subsection shall not affect any other authority of the Administrator under this chapter.
A System member who is appointed into Federal service under paragraph (1) shall not be considered an employee of the United States for purposes other than those specifically set forth in this section.
Subject to such terms and conditions as the Administrator may impose by regulation, the Administrator shall make payments to the sponsoring agency of a task force to be used to reimburse each employer of a System member on the task force for compensation paid by the employer to an employee filling a position normally filled by the System member for any period during which the System member is appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
Costs incurred by an employer shall be eligible for reimbursement under subparagraph (A) only to the extent that the costs are in excess of the costs that would have been incurred by the employer had the System member not been appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
A System member shall not be entitled to pay directly from the Agency for a period during which the System member is appointed into Federal Service under subsection (f)(1).
A System member who is appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1) and who suffers personal injury, illness, disability, or death as a result of a personal injury sustained while acting in the scope of such appointment, shall, for the purposes of subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, be treated as though the member were an employee (as defined by section 8101 of that title) who had sustained the injury in the performance of duty.
A System member or dependent shall make an election of benefits under subparagraph (A) not later than 1 year after the date of the personal injury, illness, disability, or death that is the reason for the benefits, or until such later date as the Secretary of Labor may allow for reasonable cause shown.
An election of benefits made under this paragraph is irrevocable unless otherwise provided by law.
Subject to such terms and conditions as the Administrator may impose by regulation, if a System member or dependent elects to receive benefits from a State or local government under paragraph (2)(A), the Administrator shall reimburse the State or local government for the value of the benefits.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to bar any claim by, or with respect to, any System member who is a public safety officer, as defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 [34 U.S.C. 10284], for any benefits authorized under part L of title I of that Act (42 U.S.C. 3796 et seq.).1
A System member appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1), while acting within the scope of the appointment, shall be considered to be an employee of the Federal Government under section 1346(b) of title 28 and chapter 171 of that title, relating to tort claims procedure.
Service as a System member shall be considered to be “service in the uniformed services” for purposes of chapter 43 of title 38 relating to employment and reemployment rights of individuals who have performed service in the uniformed services (regardless of whether the individual receives compensation for such participation). All rights and obligations of such persons and procedures for assistance, enforcement, and investigation shall be as provided for in such chapter.
Preclusion of giving notice of service by necessity of appointment under this section shall be considered to be preclusion by “military necessity” for purposes of section 4312(b) of title 38 pertaining to giving notice of absence from a position of employment. A determination of such necessity shall be made by the Administrator and shall not be subject to judicial review.
If a System member holds a valid license, certificate, or other permit issued by any State or other governmental jurisdiction evidencing the member’s qualifications in any professional, mechanical, or other skill or type of assistance required by the System, the System member is deemed to be performing a Federal activity when rendering aid involving such skill or assistance during a period of appointment into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
The Administrator shall enter into a response cooperative agreement with each sponsoring agency, as appropriate, under which the Administrator agrees to reimburse the sponsoring agency for costs incurred by the sponsoring agency in responding to a major disaster or emergency.
The Administrator may incur all necessary obligations consistent with this section in order to ensure the effectiveness of the System.
Not later than 180 days after
Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a task force may not include Federal employees. In the case of a Federal employee detailed to a task force, the sponsoring agency shall enter into an agreement with the relevant employing Federal agency.