Technical Rescue Team

Services We Provide

The Technical Rescue Team (TRT) of the South Orange Rescue Squad specializes in three specific technical rescue disciplines: swiftwater, confined space, and high angle.

The Technical Rescue Team responds to emergency calls in and around Orange County, North Carolina that require specialized equipment and technical skill for patient rescue. The Technical Rescue Team is also available for deployment as a state resource.  The team has deployed extensively throughout North Carolina for water rescues during hurricane and flooding events.  


Swift Water Rescue

There are several areas within Orange County that are prone to flooding during heaving rainfall. As the water levels rise, the Technical Rescue Team often responds with Chapel Hill Fire Department to assist with evacuations. The team has also responded to emergency rescue calls on the Haw River and Jordan Lake with the North Chatham Fire Department.

In 2016, 15 members of the Technical Rescue Team were deployed to Eastern North Carolina in preparation of Hurricane Matthew. Deployment lasted 10 days and consisted of wellness checks, rescues, and evacuations. The other members of the team remained near Orange County and provided relief to the local community. These members assisted with evacuations in Chapel Hill and a rescue in Raleigh.



Confined Space Rescue

The Technical Rescue Team has specialized training for the rescue or recovery of patients trapped in a confined space or trapped in a location only accessible by a confined space. A confined space has limited or restricted means of entry and exit. Some examples of confined spaces include manholes, tunnels, pipelines, storage tanks, and sewers. The Technical Rescue Team has routine training with UNC Police, Chapel Hill Fire Department, and Orange County Emergency Services to prepare all of the agencies involved in a confined space rescue incident.


High Angle Rescue

The Technical Rescue Team has learned specialized rope rescue techniques to rescue or recover patients trapped on terrain with a steep slope angle. The team has conducted high angle training in the CoGen power plant and on ledges of the American Stone rock quarry. Ropes, pulleys, harnesses, belay devices, and hauling equipment may be utilized to gain access to the patient, support the team providing patient care and retrieval, or to remove the patient and support team from the scene.In recent history, the Technical Rescue Team has responded with Chapel Hill Fire Department to several crane rescues on constructions sites in Chapel Hill. The team has also responded to assist with several land searches for missing persons within Orange and Chatham Counties.



Training Process

Membership in this division requires attendance at a minimum of six of the twelve training sessions held each year. TRT organizes monthly Saturday sessions for training and provides opportunities for members to attend additional external training sessions. In order to become a full member of TRT, several years of training are typically necessary to accrue all certifications at the necessary level. Provisional members may respond to calls and participate up to the level of their training. Complete training requirements will be provided to provisional members by the training officer, and must be completed to become a regular member.

The Technical Rescue Team regularly sends members to the following certification classes:

  • Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT-1)

  • Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRT-A)

  • NC Technical Rescuer (TR) General

  • NC Technical Rescuer (TR) Rope Rescue

  • NC Technical Rescuer (TR) Water Rescue

  • NC Technical Rescuer (TR) Confined Space Rescue

  • North Carolina High Angle Rescue School (Units 1-4)

Volunteer Opportunities

South Orange Rescue Squad is always accepting applications to join.  We look for bright, dedicated individuals who are eager to learn about Technical Rescue. If you are interested in becoming involved with South Orange, we encourage you to visit the Membership Page and fill out an application.


More Information

For more information on the Technical Rescue Division - visit the contact page.