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California Urban Heavy Rescue Act

The Act provides an urban heavy rescue capability in the event of a major earthquake

By Chris Micheli, August 23, 2022 3:17 pm

California has numerous formal acts in statute. Government Code Title 2, Division 1, Chapter 7, Article 4.5 provides the Urban Heavy Rescue Act, which is contained in Section 8584 to 8584.1. Article 4.5 was added in 1988 by Chapter 1206. Section 8584 names the act.

Section 8584.1 provides that it is the intent of the Legislature that the state have an urban heavy rescue capability in the event of a major earthquake. It is also the intent of the Legislature that the Office of Emergency Services and the State Fire Marshal’s Office pursue the necessary funding to carry out this article through the normal budget process.

In addition, the Fire and Rescue Division of the Office of Emergency Services is required to acquire and maintain urban heavy rescue units and transportable caches of search and rescue gear, including hand tools and protective gear. The division must position the units and caches to ensure a rapid response of personnel and equipment anywhere in the state, and ensure that a unit will be available on the scene within one hour of a major earthquake.

Finally, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is required to coordinate the training of personnel in the use of the units and equipment in cooperation with the Office of Emergency Services.

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