Technical Rescue Unit

The Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) was formed in late 2006 originally as an enhancement to the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team.

USAR was established as part of the government’s New Dimension Project, in response to the Terrorist attacks in the USA on 11th September 2001 and in London on 7th July 2005.

The TRU’s full capability was achieved in 2007 when Rope Rescue, Water Rescue and Heavy Rescue were added to the Units responsibility. Since this time Technical Rescue has taken ownership of functions involving bariatric patient recovery, confined space and trench rescue.

About Us 

Now based at Bickenhill Fire Station, with purpose built facilities, to train in all specialist rescue disciplines, we provide a local, regional and national response 24 hours a day 365 days a year to any USAR/widescale flooding incident as well as the support necessary for specialist rescue incidents.

The team is made up of a Station Commander, Administration Officer, Equipment Maintenance Officer, USAR Training Officer, Search Dog Handler, and four watches each made up of a Watch Commander, Crew Commander and six Technicians.

With shifts running along the same colour watches as the core fire crews, watch based personnel work a 96 hour duty period with 48 hours on full duty and the remainder on retained cover. Retained personnel can respond to base within 30 minutes of being required for multiple incident deployment.

Technical Rescue Disciplines

Rope Rescue, Water Support, Heavy Rescue, Trench Rescue, Bariatric Casualty Recovery.
USAR Disciplines 

Technical Search, Canine Search, Open area search, Mapping, Breaking and Breaching, Shoring, Lifting and Moving, Lobo Scaffolding System, Confined Space Rescue, Chainsaw, Hot Cutting, L.A.C.E. (Line Access Casualty Extrication).


With a purpose built appliance Module/Stowage building combined a with USAR Training rig and lecture facilities, located at the rear of the main Bickenhill Fire Station.

Vehicles & Equipment

The TRU’s fleet comprises of:

  • 4 Man New Dimension Prime Movers modified to carry all WMFS Pods as well as USAR modules.
  • 2 Mercedes Sprinter Vans – fast response for Water, Rope and large animal.
  • Dog Van
  • Mod 4 – Bobcat, multi purpose vehicle

For further information, please view the downloadable file at the bottom of the page.


All TRU Personnel are volunteers. Following successful completion of an externally validated selection process, initial training in Rope Rescue, Water Rescue level 3, MRU duties, confined space and core USAR skills is carried out. According to the TRU’s requirements, personnel have the opportunity to carry out specialist training in; chainsaw, hot cutting, LACE, trench collapse, power rescue boat operators, timber shoring and advanced technical search.

Maintenance of skills is carried out locally in collaboration with the Academy and at external locations across the country.

Annually, personnel take part in extended duration national training exercises for periods of up to 48 hrs.

TRU members also get opportunities to study for a diploma qualification in Technical Rescue which is carried out in collaboration with the Fire Service College and Coventry University.

Core Skill Courses

USAR1 , USAR2, Safe Work at Height 1, Rope Rescue Level 1, Swift Water Rescue Level3, MRU, Responding Officer, Prime Mover/hooklift/banksman, EFAD2 Toolcat/MPV.

Additional Skills Courses

USAR5 (Timber Shoring), USAR7 (Chainsaw), USAR10 (Advanced Tech Search), USAR11, USARI (Usar Instructor), USRLA (Line Access Casualty Extrication), Hot cutting, Rope level 2, Confined Space Operator/Supervisor, Casualty Management in Specialist Rescue, Powerboat for Rescue Response, Chainsaw CS 31/32/33, Trench Rescue, Large Animals 2 & 3

History of Incidents

Warwickshire Factory Fire Atherstone,
Tewksbury Floodings
Coventry Air Crash
Cumbria Floods

Attached Files: 
PDF icon USAR Equipment and Vehicles.pdf239.66 KB