New bill aims to reevulate Oregon’s urban search and rescue program

A new house bill, aimed to help search and rescue efforts, has passed the senate.

House Bill 2484 could help fill gaps in search and rescue that local fire departments are not able to do.

But this bill is specific to the ‘Oregon Urban Search and Rescue Program’ which used to be part of the ‘Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office’.

“Our office used to house an urban search and rescue program that was funded by federal dollars and a while ago it actually had to be dissolved, lack of sustainable funding at the federal level,” OSFM spokesperson Alison Green said. “We’re actually pretty excited to see this bill to actually reevaluate that urban search and rescue program.”

Green said urban search and rescue is separate from local county agencies.

It focuses more on rescues for building collapses, confined spaces and swift water rescues.

This bill will give OSFM until 2024 to study ways to improve and make the program better.

Now, it goes to the governor’s desk for signature.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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