North Carolina Rescue Standards


All documents are in Portable Document format (PDF). You may need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view these documents.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is Rescue?

    Rescue is identified in GS 58-87-5

    "Rescue means the removal of individuals facing external, non medical, and non patient related peril to areas of relative safety. A rescue unit or rescue squad means a group of individuals who are not necessarily trained in emergency medical services, fire fighting, or law enforcement, but who expose themselves to an external, non medical, and non patient related peril to affect the removal of individuals facing the same type of peril to area of relative safety. The unit or squad must comply with existing state statutes and with the eligibility criteria established by the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services, Inc."

  2. When do the standards take effect?
    July 1, 2004
  3. General

    Q: I see squads buying bigger trucks to carry everything on one unit. Is this a requirement?

    A: No, the equipment must be on a piece of squad apparatus and be "response ready". Examples include: equipment being loaded on trucks or equipment in/on a trailer. Equipment may be spread across numerous vehicles and does not have to be housed at one station.

  4. Communications

    Q. Our squad issues portable radios to our members. How do we handle the 8 portable radios for inspection?

    A. The 8 radios must be available for inspection

  5. How long will children applicants remain on the prioritized list?
    1 year for 2 year applicants. 1 year for 2 / 4 applicants. 1 year for 4 year applicants.
  6. Generator

    Q. We have two 4kW generators. Will that suffice for the 8kW requirement?

    A: No, the kilowatt ratings are not additive. The squad must a have a minimum 8kW generator.

    Q: What does mobile and portable mean?

    A: Mobile means "mounted, carried, or pulled by the truck". Portable means "able to be hand-carried."

  7. Where can I get NIMS Forms?
    Visit this page http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/ICSResource/ICSResCntr_Forms.htm
  8. Lighting equipment

    Q: Our rescue truck has a GFI protected/isolated onboard electrical system. Do we still need the 2 portable GFCIs?

    A: Yes, they would be needed for any "portable" generators you have and to use if you enter an industry and use power from within their property.

  9. Protective Clothing

    Q: Do I have to carry the PPE on the squad vehicles?

    A: No, you must be able to provide either by example or documention, the 8 required sets of gear and representation of what is issued to the members.

    Q: What are safety rated helmets and ear plugs?

    A: Any ANSI approved helmets will suffice for inspection. Any ANSI approved ear protection will suffice as well (examples: ear plugs, ear muffs, etc).

  10. Cribbing

    Q: What if our squad uses "plastic cribbing" for stabilization?

    A: Any composite material cribbing items must be pre-approved by the Association. Some brands do not have the same crush strength as Douglas Fir/Southern Yellow Pine.

  11. High Level Equipment

    Q: Can we make our own rigging plate?

    A: No, the plate must be commercially prepared by an emergency equipment supplier.

    Q: All my 1" webbing is one color. Will this suffice?

    A: No, according to national standards, the color of 1" webbing can identify its length.

    Q: What are examples of edge protection for ropes?

    A: Edge rollers, pads, carpet samples, old fire hose, etc

  12. Cutting Tools

    Q. Do I have to purchase a Paratech 40 type air gun? I have a high impact air chisel.

    A: Contact the Association office with specifications on your chisel. Some chisels may have the same or higher PSI but are not designed for concrete and other metals like the Paratech style cutting gun. The association makes every attempt to avoid being "brand specific" but the Paratech gun offers features not available on other hand-held chisels.

  13. Long Handle Tools

    Q: What is a "flat bar?"

    A: An example of a "flat bar" is the Stanley Wonder Bar, available at most home improvement stores. NOTE: The Association attempts to avoid being "brand specific" for most all equipment.

  14. Traffic and Crowd Control

    Q: What titles must I have for my incident command vest?

    A: The titles for the squad are to be determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Some kits may have several titles, while some kits may have only a few.

  15. Pulling equipment

    Q: The winch on our truck is mounted into a receiver. Is this acceptable?

    A: Yes, the winch must still meet the 8,000 minimum pulling capacity and the receiver must be appropriately rated for the winch.

    Q: What are chain shorteners?

    A: They must be made of Grade 70 chain and hooks. Typically they are a minimum of three links of chain with hook on each end. There are commercially made "grabbers" that can replace the hooks. "Load Binders" used on tractor-trailer units are not acceptable.

    Q: What types of come-alongs are allowed? A: Cable or chain come-alongs are allowed. Minimum rating on a chain come-along is 1 _ ton, while a cable come-along has a 2 ton minimum rating. Webbing type come-alongs are not approved. Summary for inspection Cable: 2 come-alongs with handle, plus spare handle Chain: 2 come-alongs A duplicate come-along is not acceptable as a substitution for a spare handle. Chain come-alongs do not require a spare handle.
  16. Hydraulic Equipment

    Q: We have a combi-tool? Can it count for my spreader unit AND cutter?

    A: No, if you have a combi-tool it can count for EITHER spreader or cutter. You must then have another separate tool to fill the other role. Example: You declare your combi-tool to be your spreader, thus you must have a separate cutter.

    Q: Does the back-up unit for the hydraulic pump have to be gas or electric?

    A: No, the back-up unit can be gas, electric, or hand pump style.

  17. Miscellaneous

    Q: I have a topo map program for a laptop we carry with us. Is this acceptable?

    A: Yes, a map program on computer (or CD) will suffice but it must be carried on a squad vehicle. Maps can either be electronic or paper. Remember you must also have a printer available with you if you use the electronic version.

  18. SCBA

    Q: Are there pressure or time requirements for SCBAs?

    A: 2216 or 4500 units are acceptable along with 30, 45, or 60 minute bottles.

  19. Tonnage of High Pressure Lifting Bags

    Q: Tonnage of lifting bags - How do I calculate the tonnage of high pressure airbags?

    A: Some confusion has arisen concerning the tonnage of the lifting bags for medium and heavy standards. Medium requires 50 ton capacity which means that the TOTAL of all the high pressure lifting bags must equal 50 tons. (No requirement for a single bag to lift 50 tons.) Heavy requires a total of 200 tons and the same rule applies; the TOTAL of all high pressure lifting bags must equal 200 tons. (No requirement for a single bag to lift 200 tons.)

  20. Changes to Rescue Standards

    Q: Will I have to purchase new equipment?

    A: Yes, each agency would be expected to comply with the current standard in place. No additions that should/would place a burden or major impact on agencies have been added. If this requirement causes an undue burden please contact our office for resolution.