Based at Cleckheaton Fire Station, they form one of 20 strategically-placed Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Teams within England and Wales, provided under the UK Government’s New Dimension programme.

They help to rescue people involved in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) events, building collapses, rescues at height, major flooding incidents, trench collapses and major transport incidents involving a train, tram or aircraft. They will also provide support to our own or other Fire and Rescue Service crews when they need more specialist support at incidents.


Urban search and rescue firefighter.

USAR technicians take up the role for a minimum 3-year period and may operate on a Wholetime or On-Call basis. They receive training at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire on using specialist equipment, vehicles and rescue techniques, to help deal with large scale incidents requiring complex or technical rescues.

As part of their role they commit to attend incidents anywhere in the UK, potentially for extended periods of time outside their normal duty patterns.

Our state-of-the-art USAR training centre, based at our HQ at Birkenshaw, opened on 7th January 2010. This enables our team to train 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Listen to what members of the team have to say about their role.