Through a robust system of planning, training and exercise, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) has a variety of emergency response teams and emergency personnel who can rapidly identify, evaluate, and react to a wide spectrum of disasters and emergencies. Such events include those arising from man-made threats and incidents (i.e. terrorism, power failure, hazardous material incident), or naturally occurring disasters (i.e. hurricanes, floods, severe weather) Using the National Response Framework, RIEMA coordinates with Federal, State, and local emergency organizations in response to various types of domestic events with a mission of protecting public health and safety.
Many of the members of these specialized teams are volunteers and/or 501 (c) (3) entities whose mission is to support the citizens of the State of Rhode Island and if the need arises, travel to support any State who may be in need of assistance via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Their dedication to craft has made great impacts during Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy, the Rhode Island Floods of 2010, and other incidents associated with major events such as chemical spills, white powder incidents, and medical assistance.
Some highly trained and skilled State of Rhode Island Teams include:
The Rhode Island Heavy Rescue Task Force is organized into the East Bay (Middletown, Newport, and Portsmouth Fire Departments) and West Bay (Warwick Fire Department) Heavy Rescue Squad. When the two squads come together they form the Rhode Island Heavy Rescue Task Force that is a Type-4 Urban Search and Rescue asset.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Rhode Island's Hazardous Materials and Mass Decontamination Team is made up of 6 Hazardous Material Teams (Cranston, East Providence, Hope Valley, Providence, Warwick, and Woonsocket), and 4 Decontamination Teams (Hopkins Hill, Kingston, North Kingstown, and North Providence). The teams are used to assess and manage the consequences of a hazardous materials/WMD release, either accidental or as part of a terrorist attack. These can include, but are not limited to: white powder incidents, fuel spills, industrial chemical spills, carbon monoxide leaks, gas leaks, and unknown odors.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM) is designed to be a comprehensive, multi-component, multi-discipline stress management program. The CISM Team provides stress and crisis management to any fire, police, or ambulance department personnel responding to a critical incident, multi-casualty event, or disaster.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team recruits and trains medical health professionals to respond to public health emergencies in the State of Rhode Island. The team was originally established in 1990 and is currently comprised of over 800 volunteers.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps (RI MRC) has over 1,200 registered health volunteers who are called upon to assist in public health and emergency situations throughout Rhode Island. The RI MRC works in hand with the RI DMAT, RI Department of Health, RIEMA, and local emergency management agencies to provide hospital-level care to the citizens of Rhode Island at mass gathering events, public health exercises, and public health emergencies.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The purpose of the formation of the Wilderness Search and Rescue Team is to formalize search and rescue capabilities within the State of Rhode Island and enhance efforts with the utilization of civilian volunteers. While the operations of all missing person searches shall remain a law enforcement function, there is a need to integrate the services of both trained and untrained civilian volunteers into a large-scale search effort.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Rhode Island's Weapon of Mass Destruction Tactical Team is made up of members from the Rhode Island State Police. The team is used to contain, control, and de-escalate hostile situations where the use of weapons of mass destruction has been, or threatened to be, introduced.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Flammable Liquids Task Force (East Providence, Johnston, Providence, Warwick, Valley Falls, and Woonsocket Fire Departments) protects life, property, and critical infrastructure by using its assets to contain, contrlol, and extinguish fires, or releases and spills involving flammable or combustibale liquids or gasses. The Task Force uses five Williams Foam Trailers with 660 gallons of Aqueous Film Forming Foam-Alcohol Resistant (AFFF-AR) Thunderstorm Foam Concentrate in 330 gallon totes to extinguish liquid and gaseous fires.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Port of Providence Marine Strike Team (Providence, East Providence, Cranston, and Warwick) is a waterside asset to mitigate chemical, incendiary, environmental and life safety incidnets that occur in the port of Providence or contiguous waters. Each team has one boat, with the capability to conduct night time Search and Rescue, fire suppression, hazmat detection, CBRNE environment and WMD detection, and can support EMS and dive operations.RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE