139th News

Fatality search and recovery team earns high remarks during evaluation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Crane
  • 139th Airlift Wing
Eleven Airmen from the 139th Services Flight earned high remarks during an evaluation exercise here March 20, 2015.

But they were not graded on the traditional services mission. These Airmen make up the fatality search and recover team, or FSRT, which is part of the Missouri National Guard's Homeland Response Force, or HRF.

Their primary job is to respectfully collect the deceased in a large scale disaster.

"We're trained to treat fatalities with respect," said 2nd Lt. Kalonie Taylor who is the officer-in-charge of the FSRT. "That includes moving them from the rubble pile to our tents as quickly possible...so they can eventually be returned to their loved ones."
The team set record times during the evaluation.

"The inspectors said we had the fastest site occupation to date," said Taylor who also said they are given two and a half hours to initially set up, but were set up in under one hour and 25 minutes.

They were also graded on how effectively they communicated with other elements of the HRF.

"We're fortunate to have the medical element at our base," said Taylor. "The inspectors said we had great communication with them."

"We show as much respect to the deceased as we can," said Senior Airman Dustin Wiedmaier, one of the FSRT members. "You never know when it could be one of your loved ones."

The team wears protective suits to shield against any harmful chemical, biological, or radiological agents that may be present in a disaster.

"We have several hours logged wearing the suits," said Wiedmair. "We're used to operating with them just like everyone else [in the HRF]."

Taylor contributes their success to each Airmen.

"I have a wonderful and productive team who is motivated to finish the mission," said Taylor.