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Urban Search And Rescue Teams Monitoring Federal Budget Talks

Chuck Simmins

Urban search and rescue teams are awaiting the outcome of another round of budget talks in Washington.

Indiana‘s Task Force One is one of 28 federally-funded search-and-rescue teams which race to disasters from the Washington mudslides to tornadoes in Arkansas.

But the annual stalemate over the federal budget creates some uncertainty.

Task Force One program manager Tom Neal says even the stopgap resolutions which lately have taken the place of formal budgets aren‘t a solution, because the task forces‘ money comes in the form of a grant, not a budget line item.

That means Congress has to reach a separate agreement on that funding.

"The way our grant funds work, it's an 18 month cycle, so there's overlapping funds" says Neal. "So we can continue our operations out 18 months."

Indy is hosting representatives of search teams from around the country for a three-day conference on grant making and other operational issues.