St. Louis Metro Strike Team 3 is one component of an area-wide Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) management force. It is a deployable, fully self-sufficient team designed to respond to large scale emergencies with massive destruction and/or complicated technical rescue needs. Along with other area teams, SLMST 3 is an organized, structured compilation of well trained and heavily equipped Rescue Technicians from St. Louis County Fire Districts. Other area teams include SLMST 1 from St. Charles, SLMST 2 from St. Louis City and SLMST 4 from Jefferson County and Eureka.
The Affton Fire District sponsors 7 Rescue Technicians currently employed at the District. These Techs must be trained and remain proficient in multiple high hazard specialties:
High Angle/Rope Rescue
Confined Space Rescue
Structural Collapse Rescue
When a disaster strikes, dispatching agencies alert the strike teams’ leadership and an action plan is immediately set into motion including the dispatch of a strike team(s) and placing one or more team on “stand-by”.
SLMST 3 has responded to multiple large incidents including the Joplin, MO tornado in May of 2011 in which four Rescue Techs from Affton responded. SLMST 3 performed USAR operations in multiple areas during its 3 day deployment.
Each incident is meticulously documented and events logged for ongoing evaluations. After an incident is finished and secured and members are debriefed the leadership and its members meet to discuss the incident in a Post Incident Critique. In this critique members will discuss events that took place, operations and technical maneuvers, policies and procedures and a chronological timeline of events. They then evaluate what worked and what needs adjustment and prepare recommendations for policy and procedure changes. The knowledge gained from these sessions will shape the face of future incidents.
The Affton Fire Protection District has five Hazardous Materials Technicians who are currently rostered with the St. Louis County HAZMAT Team. The County HAZMAT Team is available for any incidents involving toxic chemical releases, biological and chemical warfare incidents and threats and unknown chemical or substance releases. The HAZMAT Techs are also available for response to meth labs and other possible drug related incidents where they may work side by side with police organizations.