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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of June 4, 2020

Title 44Chapter ISubchapter DPart 208 → Subpart A


Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance
PART 208—NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM


Subpart A—General


Contents
§208.1   Purpose and scope of this part.
§208.2   Definitions of terms used in this part.
§208.3   Authority for the National US&R Response System.
§208.4   Purpose for System.
§208.5   Authority of the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Operations Directorate.
§208.6   System resource reports.
§208.7   Enforcement.
§208.8   Code of conduct.
§208.9   Agreements between Sponsoring Agencies and Participating Agencies.
§208.10   Other regulations.
§208.11   Federal status of System Members.
§208.12   Maximum Pay Rate Table.
§§208.13-208.20   [Reserved]

§208.1   Purpose and scope of this part.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to prescribe policies and procedures pertaining to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Urban Search and Rescue Response System.

(b) Scope. This part applies to Sponsoring Agencies and other participants in the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System that have executed agreements governed by this part. Part 206 of this chapter does not apply to activities undertaken under this part, except as provided in §§208.5 and 208.10 of this part. This part does not apply to reimbursement under part 206, subpart H, of this chapter.

§208.2   Definitions of terms used in this part.

(a) General. Any capitalized word in this part is a defined term unless such capitalization results from the application of standard capitalization or style rules for Federal regulations. The following definitions have general applicability throughout this part:

Activated or Activation means the status of a System resource placed at the direction, control and funding of DHS in response to, or in anticipation of, a presidential declaration of a major disaster or emergency under the Stafford Act.

Activation Order means the DHS communication placing a System resource under the direction, control, and funding of DHS.

Advisory means a DHS communication to System resources indicating that an event has occurred or DHS anticipates will occur that may require Alert or Activation of System resources.

Alert means the status of a System resource's readiness when triggered by an Alert Order indicating that DHS may Activate the System resource.

Alert Order means the DHS communication that places a System resource on Alert status.

Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Operations Directorate.

Assistance Officer means the DHS employee who has legal authority to bind DHS by awarding and amending Cooperative Agreements.

Backfill means the personnel practice of temporarily replacing a person in his or her usual position with another person.

Cooperating Agency means a State or Local Government that has executed a Cooperative Agreement to provide Technical Specialists.

Cooperative Agreement means a legal instrument between DHS and a Sponsoring Agency or Cooperating Agency that provides funds to accomplish a public purpose and anticipates substantial Federal involvement during the performance of the contemplated activity.

Daily Cost Estimate means a Sponsoring Agency's estimate of Task Force personnel compensation, itemized fringe benefit rates and amounts including calculations, and Backfill expenditures for a 24-hour period of Activation.

Deputy Assistant Administrator means the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Operations Directorate, or other person the Assistant Administrator designates.

DHS means the Department of Homeland Security.

Disaster Search Canine Team means a disaster search canine and handler who have successfully completed the written examination and demonstrated the performance skills required by the Disaster Search Canine Readiness Evaluation Process. A disaster search canine is a dog that has successfully completed the DHS Disaster Search Canine Readiness Evaluation criteria for Type II or both Type II and Type I.

Emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.

Equipment Cache List means the DHS-issued list that defines:

(1) The equipment and supplies that US & R will furnish to Sponsoring Agencies; and

(2) The maximum quantities and types of equipment and supplies that a Sponsoring Agency may purchase and maintain with DHS funds.

Federal Excess Property means any Federal personal property under the control of a Federal agency that the agency head or a designee determines is not required for its needs or for the discharge of its responsibilities.

Federal Response Plan means the signed agreement among various Federal departments and agencies that provides a mechanism for coordinating delivery of Federal assistance and resources to augment efforts of State and Local Governments overwhelmed by a Major Disaster or Emergency, supports implementation of the Stafford Act, as well as individual agency statutory authorities, and supplements other Federal emergency operations plans developed to address specific hazards.

Joint Management Team or JMT means a multi-disciplinary group of National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), and other specialists combined to provide operations, planning, logistics, finance and administrative support for US&R and NDMS resources, and to provide technical advice and assistance to States and Local Governments.

Local Government means any county, city, village, town, district, or other political subdivision of any State; any federally recognized Indian tribe or authorized tribal organization; and any Alaska Native village or organization.

Major Disaster means any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, that in the determination of the President, causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under the Stafford Act to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, Local Governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) means the document signed by DHS, a Sponsoring Agency and its State that describes the relationship of the parties with respect to the National Urban Search & Rescue Response System.

Participating Agency means a State or Local Government, non-profit organization, or private organization that has executed an agreement with a Sponsoring Agency to participate in the National US&R Response System.

Personnel Rehabilitation Period means the period allowed by DHS for a person's rehabilitation to normal conditions of living following an Activation.

Preparedness Cooperative Agreement means the agreement between DHS and a Sponsoring Agency for reimbursement of allowable expenditures incurred by the Sponsoring Agency to develop and maintain System capabilities and operational readiness.

Program Directive means guidance and direction for action to ensure consistency and standardization across the National US&R Response System.

Program Manager means the individual, or his or her designee, within DHS who is responsible for day-to-day administration of the National US&R Response System.

Program Office means the organizational entity within DHS that is responsible for day-to-day administration of the National US&R Response System.

Response Cooperative Agreement means an agreement between DHS and a Sponsoring Agency for reimbursement of allowable expenditures incurred by the Sponsoring Agency as a result of an Alert or Activation.

Sponsoring Agency means a State or Local Government that has executed an MOA with DHS to organize and administer a Task Force.

Stafford Act means the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 through 5206.

State means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Support Specialist means a person participating in the System who assists the Task Force with administrative or other support during mobilization, ground transportation and demobilization as directed.

System or National US&R Response System means the national US&R response capability administered by DHS.

System Member means any Task Force Member, JMT Member, Technical Specialist, Support Specialist or Disaster Search Canine Team.

Task Force means an integrated US&R organization of multi-disciplinary resources with common communications and a leader, organized and administered by a Sponsoring Agency and meeting DHS standards.

Task Force Member means a person occupying a position on a Task Force.

Technical Specialist means a person participating in the System contributing technical knowledge and skill who may be placed on Alert or Activated as a single resource and not as a part of a JMT or a Task Force.

US&R means urban search and rescue, the process of searching for, extricating, and providing for the immediate medical stabilization of victims who are entrapped in collapsed structures.

(b) Additional definitions. Definitions for certain terms that apply only to individual subparts of this part are located in those subparts.

[70 FR 9194, Feb. 24, 2005, as amended at 74 FR 15353, Apr. 3, 2009]

§208.3   Authority for the National US&R Response System.

(a) Enabling legislation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency established and operated the System under the authority of §§303, 306(a), 306(b), 403(a)(3)(B) and 621(c) of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. 5144, 5149(a), 5149(b), 5170b(a)(3)(B) and 5197(c), respectively. Section 503 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. 313, transferred the functions of the Administrator of FEMA to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The President redelegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security in Executive Order 13286 those authorities of the President under the Stafford Act that had been delegated previously to the Administrator of FEMA under Executive Order 12148.

(b) Implementing plan. The National Response Plan identifies DHS as the primary Federal agency with responsibility for Emergency Support Function 9, Urban Search and Rescue.

§208.4   Purpose for System.

It is DHS policy to develop and provide a national system of standardized US&R resources to respond to Emergencies and Major Disasters that are beyond the capabilities of affected State and Local Governments.

§208.5   Authority of the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Operations Directorate.

(a) Participation in activities of the System. The Assistant Administrator is responsible for determining participation in the System and any activity thereof, including but not limited to whether a System resource is operationally ready for Activation.

(b) Standards for and measurement of System efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the authority provided in §206.13 of this chapter, the Assistant Administrator may establish performance standards and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of System resources.

§208.6   System resource reports.

(a) Reports to Assistant Administrator. The Assistant Administrator may request reports from any System resource relating to its activities as part of the System.

(b) Reports to FEMA Regional Administrators. Any FEMA Regional Administrator may request through the Assistant Administrator reports from any System resource used within or based within the Regional Administrator's jurisdiction.

(c) Audits, investigations, studies and evaluations. DHS and the General Accounting Office may conduct audits, investigations, studies, and evaluations as necessary. Sponsoring Agencies, Participating Agencies and System Members are expected to cooperate fully in such audits, investigations, studies and evaluations.

§208.7   Enforcement.

(a) Remedies for noncompliance. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200.338, 200.341, and 200.342, if a Sponsoring Agency, Participating Agency, Affiliated Personnel or other System Member materially fails to comply with a term of a Cooperative Agreement, Memorandum of Agreement, System directive or other Program Directive, the Assistant Administrator may take one or more of the actions provided in 2 CFR 200.338(a)-(f). Any such enforcement action taken by the Assistant Administrator will be subject to the hearings, appeals, and effects of suspension and termination provisions of 2 CFR 200.341 and 200.342.

(b) The enforcement remedies identified in this section, including suspension and termination, do not preclude a Sponsoring Agency, Participating Agency, Affiliated Personnel or other System Member from being subject to “Debarment and Suspension” under E.O. 12549, as amended, in accordance with 2 CFR 200.338(d).

(c) Other authority for sanctions. Nothing in this section limits or precludes the application of other authority to impose civil or criminal sanctions, including 42 U.S.C. 5156.

[70 FR 9194, Feb. 24, 2005, as amended at 79 FR 76087, Dec. 19, 2014]

§208.8   Code of conduct.

The Assistant Administrator will develop and implement a code of conduct for System Members acting under DHS's direction and control. Nothing in this section or the DHS code of conduct will limit the authority of a Sponsoring Agency, Participating Agency or Cooperating Agency to apply its own code of conduct to its System Members or employees. If the DHS code is more restrictive, it controls.

§208.9   Agreements between Sponsoring Agencies and Participating Agencies.

Every agreement between a Sponsoring Agency and a Participating Agency regarding the System must include a provision making this part applicable to the Participating Agency and its employees who engage in System activities.

§208.10   Other regulations.

The following provisions of title 44 CFR, Chapter I also apply to the program in this part:

(a) Section 206.9, which deals with the non-liability of DHS in certain circumstances.

(b) Section 206.11, which prescribes nondiscrimination in the provision of disaster assistance.

(c) Section 206.14, which deals with criminal and civil penalties.

(d) Section 206.15, which permits recovery of assistance by DHS.

§208.11   Federal status of System Members.

The Assistant Administrator will appoint all Activated System Members as temporary excepted Federal volunteers. The Assistant Administrator may appoint a System Member who participates in Alert activities as such a Federal volunteer. The Assistant Administrator may also appoint each System Member who participates in DHS-sanctioned preparedness activities as a temporary excepted Federal volunteer. DHS intends these appointments to secure protection for such volunteers under the Federal Employees Compensation Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act and do not intend to interfere with any preexisting employment relationship between a System Member and a Sponsoring Agency, Cooperating Agency or Participating Agency. System Members whom DHS appoints as temporary excepted Federal volunteers will not receive any compensation or employee benefit directly from the United States of America for their service, but will be compensated through their Sponsoring Agency.

§208.12   Maximum Pay Rate Table.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes the process for creating and updating the Maximum Pay Rate Table (Table), and the Table's use to reimburse Affiliated Personnel (Task Force Physicians, Task Force Engineers, and Canine Handlers) and Backfill for Activated System Members employed by or otherwise associated with a for-profit Participating Agency. Section 208.32 defines the “Maximum Pay Rate Table” as “the DHS-issued table that identifies the maximum pay rates for selected System positions that may be used for reimbursement of Affiliated Personnel compensation and Backfill for Activated System Members employed by or otherwise associated with a for-profit Participating Agency.” In that same section, the term “Affiliated Personnel” is defined as “individuals not normally employed by a Sponsoring Agency or Participating Agency and individuals normally affiliated with a Sponsoring Agency or Participating Agency as volunteers.”

(b) Scope of this section. (1) The Maximum Pay Rate Table applies to those individuals who are not normally employed by a Sponsoring Agency or Participating Agency, or whose affiliation with a Sponsoring Agency or Participating Agency is as a volunteer; that is, an individual whom the Sponsoring Agency or Participating Agency does not normally compensate in any way, at any rate.

(2) The Table also applies to Backfill for Activated System Members employed by or otherwise associated with a for-profit Participating Agency.

(c) Method for determining maximum pay rates. (1) DHS uses the United States Office of Personnel Management's salary rates, computed under 5 U.S.C. 5504, as the basis for the maximum pay rate schedule. DHS considers System members' experience and sets maximum pay rates at the maximum grade, middle step for each position, which demonstrates an experience level of five years.

(2) The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) publishes salary and locality pay schedules each calendar year.

(i) Physicians. DHS uses the latest Special Salary Rate Table Number 0290 for Medical Officers (Clinical) Worldwide for physicians. The rates used in the initial Table can be found at http://www.opm.gov/oca/03 tables/SSR/HTML/0290.asp.

(ii) Engineers and Canine Handlers. DHS uses the latest General Schedule pay scale for both positions. Both specialties are compared to the General Schedule pay scale to ensure parity with like specialties on a task force (canine handlers are equated with rescue specialists). The rates used in the initial Table can be found at http://www.opm.gov/oca/03tables/html/gs.asp.

(iii) Locality Pay. To determine adjustments for locality pay DHS uses the latest locality pay areas (including the “Rest of U.S.” area) established by OPM. The rates used in the initial Table can be found at http://www.opm.gov/oca/03tables/locdef.asp.

(3) Review and update. DHS will review and update the Table periodically, at least annually. The comments of Sponsoring and Participating Agencies and their experience with the Table will be considered and evaluated in the course of the reviews.

(4) Initial rates and subsequent revisions. DHS will publish the initial maximum pay rate table in the Federal Register as a notice with request for comments. Subsequent revisions will be made to the pay rate table as OPM changes salary rates as described in this section. When subsequent revisions are made to the maximum pay rate table DHS will publish the new maximum pay rate table in the Federal Register. The rates will be effective for the latest year indicated by OPM.1

1In some years the latest year may not be the current calendar year. For instance, OPM did not change its pay rates for calendar year 2004, and the 2003 schedules apply.

(d) Application of the maximum pay rate table—(1) Applicability. The Maximum Pay Rate Table sets forth maximum rates for which DHS will reimburse the Sponsoring Agency for compensation paid to Activated Affiliated Personnel and as Backfill for Activated System Members employed by or otherwise associated with a for-profit Participating Agency.

(2) Higher rates. The Sponsoring Agency may choose to pay Affiliated Personnel at a higher rate, but DHS will not reimburse the increment above the maximum rate specified in the Maximum Pay Rate Table. Likewise, the Sponsoring Agency may choose to enter into a Participating Agency agreement with the individual's employer, rather than use the individual as an Affiliated Personnel, in which case the Maximum Pay Rate Table would not apply.

(3) Compensation for Sponsoring Agency employees serving as Affiliated Personnel. An employee of a Sponsoring Agency serving on a Task Force in a capacity other than his or her normal job, e.g., a fire department dispatcher affiliated with the Task Force as a canine search specialist, as an Affiliated Personnel, would not necessarily be subject to the Maximum Pay Rate Table for reimbursement for salary and benefits for that individual. However, Sponsoring Agencies may use the rates in the Maximum Pay Rate Table as a guide for establishing compensation levels for such individuals.

(4) Backfill expenses for Affiliated Personnel under §208.39(g). (i) The only way that DHS can reimburse for Backfill costs incurred for Affiliated Personnel is through Participating Agencies. If reimbursement for Backfill expenses is needed for Affiliated Personnel, DHS encourages them to urge their employers or professional association to seek Participating Agency status.

(ii) Private, for-profit organizations. Participating Agency status is available to private, for-profit organizations, e.g., HMOs or medical or engineering professional associations, under the revised definition of “Participating Agency” set forth in this Interim rule. (See Definitions, §208.2, Participating Agency. and §208.32, Maximum Pay Rate Tabl.e). When a for-profit Participating Agency must backfill an Activated System Member's position we will compensate that Participating Agency up to the maximum rate provided in the Table.

(iii) Compensation costs. DHS will reimburse for-profit organizations, for purposes of reimbursement and Backfill, for the System Member's actual compensation or the actual compensation of the individual who Backfills a position (which includes salary and benefits, as described in §§208.39 and 208.40), but will not reimburse for billable or other rates that might be charged for services rendered to commercial clients or patients.

§§208.13-208.20   [Reserved]

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