Technical Rescue Team
The CAL FIRE / Placer County Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT) responds to emergencies such as medical rescues, water rescues, rope rescues, large animal rescues, and remote area rescues. The TRT operates within Placer County but is subject to mutual aid requests from other areas and counties. The TRT consists of 20 members throughout the CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, including 1 Team Manager, 3 Discipline Coordinators, and 1 Training Officer. The TRT is the only Team in Placer County signatory to the jurisdictional response held by the Placer County Sherriff’s Office for all rescue operations in Placer County. Between PCFD and PCSO, the TRT operates as an interagency Team and are qualified under FEMA and Cal OES to the Type III Swiftwater Rescue Team level.
Membership on the team is a disciplined and rigorous process. Applicants apply with the minimum of Rope Rescue Operations and River and Flood Rescue Technician qualifications. Applicants then complete 60 days of onboarding skill assessments before starting the 6-month trainee process. In all, it takes over 400 hours of training and prerequisite classes to become a qualified Rescue Technician. TRT members then attend training every month; staying current with training and certifications requiring over 110 hours a year for currency. Other positions within the team, such as Rescue Team Leaders, Boat Operators, and High Angle Rope Technicians, require additional training on top of the 110 hours a year and include specialized training such as Non-Motorized Boat Operations and Rope Rescue Technician classes. The TRT members are highly dedicated to their craft and spend many off-duty hours to stay current with their training.
The TRT has responded to nearly 300 calls for service in the last three years. In 2022 thus far, the TRT has responded to 62 calls for service, assisting 64 victims. This past July was our busiest month, with 24 rescues assisting 24 victims. The TRT is supported as a regional assets to the Placer County Fire Department and is upstaffed and hard covered routinely during peak holiday weekends or when temperatures and conditions present an extraordinary threat to life safety.
The CAL FIRE / Placer County Fire Department TRT is one of the busiest rescue teams in the state, responding to a wide variety of calls while serving the citizens of Placer County. Team Members perform this duty in addition to their normally assigned Fire Station duties and incident activity. This team and the members are dedicated to Placer County and to the protection of our citizens in one of the most heavily recreated and technically challenging regions in the North State.