The Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) is an all hazard Federal emergency response and recovery team home-based out of NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. DART has an elaborate training facility and program that is available to members of the emergency services community.
DART is the focal point for the NASA Ames Research Center Emergency Services program. For the most part, DART is synonymous with Emergency Services. DART is composed of several functional teams. The teams include:
Approximately 250 Ames Moffett personnel support DART. Most members are volunteers and come from most sectors of NASA Ames Research Center. The team is composed of scientists, engineers, wind tunnel mechanics, facilities personnel, computer programmers, administrative specialist, health and safety professionals, environmental specialist, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and heavy equipment operators. Once an individual joins the team, their effort becomes an official part of his/her job.
DART was formed in 1986 at the request of the Director of Ames Research Center. The intent was to train and equip a team that was capable of responding to the type of disasters that the Center would likely encounter. It started out as a small group of volunteers with few skills and very little in the way of equipment. Today it is a fully functional emergency response team that is not only capable of dealing with potential Center disasters, it is also capable and prepared to respond off Center to support the community as a fully functional Urban Search and Rescue Team. DART is one of this countries most qualified and best-equipped emergency response teams.
NASA's DART capabilities are included in the National Response Plan (NRP) under Emergency Support Function #9, the Urban Search and Rescue Annex.
Many of DART's members are also members of California's Urban Search and Rescue Team Task Force 3, which is one of the eight FEMA sponsored teams in the State. DART deployed with CaTF-3 to Hurricane Iniki, the Northridge Earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9-11 disaster in New York City. DART also has responded to other disasters such as the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Firestorm and the 1998 San Francisco Bay Area floods.
DART has its own training facility which includes a comprehensive collapse structure training site, hazardous materials props, confined space props, and trench rescue props. DART provides advanced collapse structure rescue training for urban search and rescue specialist. Students come from all over the country to take the six-day 65-hour class. DART also provides training in other aspects of rescue as well as response to hazardous materials incidents.