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Special Operations

Prepared for Anything


PENSAR (Pender Search and Rescue) is a team of highly trained people in the art of tracking and locating lost persons. Our team is trained in Land Search and Navigation as well as Urban Search. Our team responds to all calls in Pender County where a person is believed to have wondered off from a residence, Nursing Home, Hospital, or other locations. Most of the individuals we are called to search for are either young children or the elderly with dementia, we also respond to the occasional lost hunter during hunting season. Along with the Land Search Team we also have teams that respond to our local rivers and streams to assist boaters that are in distress, broken down, or lost. PENSAR is a State Deployable Team rendering assistance across the state if requested.

Swiftwater Rescue

Our Swiftwater Team is a team of highly trained individuals in the art of rescuing people from fast moving water. In Pender County the team is utilized mostly in the event of flooding in our rivers and streams especially after Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Our Swiftwater Team has equipment to safely rescue people from fast moving water where they have grasped onto a tree limb to hold on to, from flooded cars, or stranded boats. They use a variety of ropes, harnesses, pulleys, floatation devices, paddle boats, and motored boats in their operations. Constant Training and a rigorous application process make being a part of this team an accomplishment.

Rescue Dive Team

Pender EMS & Fire Dive Team was created by a core group of divers wanting to increase the safety and protection of our local community. The Dive Team fills a gap in rescue capabilities in an area with miles of water front. 
The Dive Teams primary mission is the rescue and/or recovery of people and property involved in water related incidents. The team is trained to perform these tasks in a wide variety of water environments, from ponds and rivers to the intercostal water way and off shore. 
Most basic dive operations can be performed with four members, made up of a dive team leader, diver tender, back up diver and main diver. When a diver enters the water they will have at least one hundred pounds of needed equipment strapped to them just to accomplish just the basic tasks. A lot of the added weight our divers carry is our redundant safety systems, all divers wear full face masks with integrated comms, weight belt, full buoyancy compensator with tank, level A hazmat dry suite and a backup breathing system. The dive Team also utilizes a 24 foot enclosed trailer capable of sustaining the team for extended incidents. The trailer carries all of the individual dive equipment as well support equipment such as portable lights, generators and a 50 gallon decontamination tank.
At the advanced levels our divers are certified we are capable of deep dives, diving on mixed gases and even skilled in the rescue of other divers in emergency situations. 

Marine Operations

Pender EMS & Fire maintains a fleet of several classes of boats for emergency use. These boats range from high-powered amphibious fan boats to small aluminum Jon boats that can be used in the small creeks and ponds within the response jurisdiction. During Hurricane Florence in 2018, these boats proved to be key in the evacuations and rescue of several hundred Pender County residents.

UAS "Drone" Unit

Pender EMS & Fire began an Unmanned Aircraft System “Drone” unit in 2019. These aircraft augment existing operations by aiding in aerial reconnaissance. This provides great assistance during rescue situations, structure fires, and search operations. Each pilot in charge is required to go through a battery of testing and become Part 107 certified with the Federal Aviation Administration.

State Medical Assistance Team

Pender EMS & Fire currently has an operational SMAT III Team that can be deployed anywhere in the state in the event of a disaster or major event. The team is trained to the standards set forth by the NC Office of EMS. Included with the team, is the SMAT trailer. This trailer contains all of the equipment needed to operate on any incident for a multiple day deployment. Training is conducted yearly to keep up with the missions set forth by the SMAT program.

Tactical Medics

Pender EMS & Fire currently partners with Pender County Sheriff’s Office to provide their Special Response Team with Tactical Medics. Each Tactical Medic must pass a rigorous battery of tests to qualify for the team. Each Tactical Medic is certified as EMT-Tactical through an accredited school and is a NC Certified Paramedic. Each Medic must also pass the standards set forth by the Sheriff’s Office. Tactical Medics provide medical support and combat care to those injured during SWAT operations.

For more information regarding the services we offer please feel free to call us.

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