Mehlville Fire Protection District is a member of Strike Team #3 and the St. Louis County Heavy Rescue Task Force, an important component of an all-hazards approach to emergency management.
The St. Louis County Heavy Rescue Task Force is made up of five Rescue Strike Teams that are a part of STARRS (St. Louis Area Regional Response System) network. These strike teams are located in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson/Franklin Counties and Madison/Monroe/St. Clair counties in Illinois. The capabilities of each strike team include responses to trench collapses, building collapses and major rope rescue/confined space incidents. Additionally, each strike team has the capability to function for a period of up to 72 hours without any outside support or re-supply. These increased capabilities directly benefit rescue operations throughout the region whether at a single site incident or in a disaster/multi site setting.
When a disaster strikes the region, units are deployed for the purpose of supporting either technical rescue operations or search and rescue operations. Strike Team #3 consists of many St. Louis County Fire Departments that have specialized training to deal with heavy rescue situations, such as building collapse, trench rescue, etc. This team is available to go anywhere in the State of Missouri as requested.
Strike Team #3 has approximately 200 individual members (combined rescue and support personnel). All rescue personnel have had technician level training in all of the designated venues of technical rescue and currently have personal response packs for up to 72 hours of uninterrupted operations without re-supply. Many of the members are also certified Fire Officers, Paramedics and Hazardous Materials Technicians and all members are required to be NIMS compliant. Members of Strike Team #3 include participants from Maryland Heights FPD, Monarch FPD, Creve Coeur FPD, Metro West FPD, Mehlville FPD, Florissant Valley FPD, Black Jack FPD, West Overland FPD, Pattonville FPD, Community FPD, West County EMS & Fire, Clayton FD, Webster Groves FD, Kirkwood FD, Affton FPD, Fenton FPD, Valley Park FPD, Olivette FD, Glendale FD and University City FD. Also on the roster are command staff personnel to support Strike Team Leader, Safety, Planning and Logistics positions. There are additional support personnel from the professional trades also in place to support heavy rigging, crane operations and engineering support operations. Sponsorship for each participating member is supported by their home based district/department or professional organization. Participating agencies are committed to the strike team by allowing their personnel to respond to incidents and also supporting those personnel with insurance coverage, personal equipment and personal needs.
With each response there will be a Strike Team Leader, a Safety Officer, a Search Team Manager, a Rescue Team Manager, a Logistics Section and a Plans Section. Under each, there will be squads assigned for search operations, rescue operations, medical, logistical and ground support and plan development and documentation. This organizational structure can expand or contract to meet the needs of an incident including 24 hour around the clock operations.
Logistical support items include six Western Shelters, portable generators, portable air conditioner and heating units, portable lighting, sleeping bags, waterless bathroom facilities, showers with water filtration and containment systems. Additionally, the strike team will respond with water and food supplies for up to 72 hours of strike team operations without re-supply from an outside source. Additional communication assets are also assigned to support a large scale operation. The response of an ambulance and Engine Company with the strike team also provides the capabilities to establish medical operations for strike team members should they respond to an area where no medical support is available and provide a pressurized water source for suppression, rescue or support operations.