City of Lincoln
Fire & Rescue Department
Nebraska Task Force 1 (NETF1)
On June 14th, 1991 the Lincoln Fire Department was invited to apply for Urban Search & Rescue Task Force funding by FEMA through the Nebraska State Civil Defense Office. This funding was proposed for "training and equipment to augment the existing capability of the Task Force". The Lincoln Fire Department made an application and requested a grant for equipment and training of $113,112.00. FEMA granted the Lincoln Fire Department $34,765.00 for Task Force Purposes. Task Force equipment was comprised mostly of LFD borrowed, rented, or equipment on pending emergency purchase orders.
On March 26th, 1992 the Lincoln Fire Department received the draft memorandum of agreement for review. This documents was reviewed and returned to FEMA and was finally put in place May 12th, 1993. The Lincoln Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Task Force was one of the first in the nation to make this signed commitment to support FEMA's mission.
In December 1994, FEMA elected to conduct an evaluation of each Task Force by requiring a written report in order to get a better understanding of each Task Forces state of readiness. After review of this submission, many Task Forces were categorized as non- deployable pending an on site inspection by a FEMA evaluation team. This was due to a number of critical equipment shortfalls, caused by a lack of adequate funding.
On April 19th, 1995, FEMA mobilized and deployed 12 Task Forces in support of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Although NE-TF1 was geographically the closest team, it was not considered for deployment due to FEMA's reclassification of the Task Force as non-deployable. This lack of mission assignment frustrated many individuals on the Task Force who had been preparing for just such an emergency.
In July 1995, an on site inspection by a FEMA evaluation team, clearly substantiated that NE-TF1 was operationally ready.