The Medical Specialist is responsible for performing the medical function of the task force incident operation. The Medical Specialist reports directly to the Medical Team Manager.

Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Medical Specialists in the FEMA US&R Response System. The intent of these requirements is to select personnel fully capable of providing medical care required by the task force in the urban disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are indented in the following categories:
•    Knowledge
•    Skills
•    Abilities

The Medical Specialist shall:
1. Be currently certified/licensed as a Paramedic or equivalent – Should be certified in BTLS, ACLS, and PALS regimens (or equivalent). Must be actively practicing pre-hospital care on a regular basis.
- OR -
2. Be currently certified/licensed as a Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse-Practitioner or Registered Nurse – certified within an accredited organization or municipality and meeting the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic Standards or State certification requirements and actively practicing advanced pre-hospital life support. Should be certified in BTLS, ACLS, and PALS regimens (or equivalent). These individuals must possess the immobilization, extrication, vascular access, and airway management skills of a National Registry Emergency Medical technician – Paramedic. This is specifically intended to exclude nurses with certifications but no regular experience to ensure acceptable mechanical skill levels during mission operations.
3. Individuals must have a knowledge and understanding of medical conditions common to US&R incidents such as lacerations, fractures, shock, crush injury and crush syndrome, burns, penetrating and blunt trauma, head injuries, respiratory embarrassment, hyper/hypothermia, and infections. They must also have experience treating common medical emergencies, eye injuries, minor orthopedic injuries, etc.
4. Have an understanding of the broad range of disaster organizations.
5. Have a working knowledge of general rescue operations at structural collapse sites, landslides, hurricanes, and other such disasters.
6. Have successfully completed the FEMA/US&R Medical Team Training course.
7. Have successfully completed the FEMA/US&R WMD Considerations for Medical Specialists

The Medical Specialist:
1.    Must understand the need to adhere to pre-established local, municipal or provincial protocols and guidelines for which the Medical Specialist has been trained and certified by the Task Force Medical Director. This should be consistent with the sponsoring jurisdiction’s standard of care and scope of practice.

The Medical Specialist:
1.    Must demonstrate proficiency at the technical rescue skill sets identified in Appendix A; and
2.    Must have the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing.

The Medical Specialist is responsible for:
•    The general health considerations of and delivery of medical care to all task force personnel, victims, and search dogs, while under the supervision of the Medical Team manger, during disaster events;
•    Implementing the medical action plans specified by the Medical Team Manger;
•    Adhering to all safety procedures;
•    Accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment; and
•    Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.