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The Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team is working team comprised of several fire departments, public agencies, and private agencies in Northern Kentucky to provide specialized rescue.

The Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team was formed in 1995 by a few departments in the area. The first contributors to the team consisted of Erlanger, Florence, and Point Pleasant. The team was formed mostly to fulfill specialized incidents that would or could occur in the Northern Kentucky area.


The mission of the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team is to provide specialized emergency response capabilities and resources in order to respond for calls for assistance that exceet the scope of normal fire, rescue, and EMS response capabilities. Our goals are to: Prepare through advanced training, equipment acquisition and the gathering of resources; Prevent harm to all life (both human and animal) and property through education, response, and action; Respond to calls for assistance for all life and property; Rescue all life that is in danger; Recover those that have been lost.


NKTRT provides the following rescue services: Building Collapse, Confined Space, Heavy Vehicle Extrication, High/Low Angle Rope Rescue, Large Animal Rescue, Missing Persons Searches, Swift Water, and Trench.

General information

Agencies that support NKTRT include (but not limited to): Alexandria Fire/EMS, Boone County Emergency Management, Burlington Fire/EMS, Campbell County Emergency Management, Covington Fire, Erlanger Fire/EMS, Hebron Fire/EMS, Kenton County Emergency Management, Point Pleasant Fire/EMS, Union Fire/EMS, Walton Fire/EMS, Northern Kentucky Horse Network, Sanitation District #1.
The NKTRT is able to handle many different types of responses. Erlanger has every full time employee and several part time employees trained in some or all of the levels of response. The responses Erlanger and NKTRT will go to are High and Low Angle Rope Rescue, Tower Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Building Collapse, Swift Water or Ice Rescue, Urban and Rural Missing Person Search, Search/Cadaver Dogs, and Large Animal Rescue. Erlanger has sent several people to be trained in these areas. The personnel go beyond the normal everyday training and keep up on this specialized rescue training as well. The personnel will also respond to many incidents, even when not at work, to help perform the rescues.

The responses that Erlanger assists with are as follows,

High and Low Angle Rope Rescues- This consists of using rope to go over a hillside or over the edge of a building to assist in helping a person in need. Low angle rescues are usually performed over a steep hillside that is troublesome to walk up and down without assistance. A good example would be a car that has gone over a hillside and a patient needs hauled up the hill and out of danger. The high angle rescue consists of a higher elevation and mostly is done by sending a rescuer over the edge of a building to attend to a person that is stuck or has had a medical emergency while working. Also involved in the high angle rope rescue is Tower Rescue. There is an overwhelming amount of cellular towers and water towers in our area. Responses to these towers are needed if someone is injured and can’t get down. Similar techniques are used in tower rescue that are used in high angle rope rescue.

Confined Space Rescue – Erlanger works with the Sanitation District and TRT to learn about different confined space areas. The most common confined space is the sewer and water return systems that run through the area. Erlanger has also trained with the Airport Service Teams learn about making entries to confined spaces on airplanes like the wings. Erlanger personnel have been asked on several occasions to standby at job sites to make sure all personnel are ok while working in confined areas. Anywhere that has limited means of entering and exiting and is not meant for living could be considered a confined space. That is a lot of locations that Erlanger and other members of TRT can find themselves performing rescues.

Trench Rescue- Erlanger works with several companies if there is a problem with a trench collapse or cave-in. Trenches are dug on almost every worksite. They are dug to lay the piping for all the underground utilities. Mostly trenches are in place for short periods of time. The work is completed and the trench is filled back in. Several Erlanger employees are trained to perform rescues if a problem occurs with a trench. Most incidents are from the soil falling in on the worker. Trench rescues are long and require a lot of cutting of lumber and placing large heavy panels to keep the walls of the trench from falling in more. A complete team effort is required to get the rescue done and make sure it is done safely.

Building Collapse- If a strong storm sweeps through the area, Erlanger is ready to respond. Buildings are affected by weather and are at risk of collapsing or being blown over. Erlanger has employees trained to shore walls and building items so that they can safely enter the building to search for any survivors. They have to be good at knowing the weight capacities of several sizes of lumber and have to know how to properly construct shores to hold the weight. Erlanger also has several different cameras to search the building without putting personnel in a dangerous situation. They have the capability to place a camera on an extended pole and quick search areas that may not easily be reached.

Swift Water and Ice Rescue- Erlanger works with Hebron Fire District in situations where flooding or ice may occur. Erlanger has special dry suits that are insulated to keep personnel warm in cold water. Erlanger is able to perform ice rescues with these suits. Hebron has several boats and personnel trained in swift water rescue. Most swift water incidents occur when heavy rain is in the area and places flood trapping people in areas unable to be reached. Erlanger works along side Hebron to safely rescue people that may become trapped or unable to get out of the water.

Urban and Rural Missing Person Search- Several calls come in around the area for missing persons. Erlanger is very involved with searching for missing persons. Personnel are trained to look for patterns and different items that assist in finding someone that may be missing. Personnel will assists with searches in the City of Erlanger and even assist with searches in other areas of the state. Erlanger has trained dogs to assist with searching for people. The dogs are trained to search people that are alive and also people that are dead. Chief Allen owns and trains the two dogs. He has put his dogs through several nationally recognized search programs and spends almost every day doing something to train the dogs. Erlanger personnel and dogs are trained to search for a person in the city, the woods, or just an open field or area.

Large Animal Rescue- Erlanger has a trailer that has equipment in it to perform large animal rescues. Several people put a lot of money into their animals. On occasions horses or cattle get stuck in mud, creeks, ponds, or ice and need assistance getting out of a hazard. Erlanger works with the Northern Kentucky Horse Network to properly rescue these animals without causing further stress or injury. The equipment is set up by personnel and is capable of lifting these heavy animals.

There are several pieces of equipment involved to perform these rescues. The equipment is as simple as a piece of rope or webbing to a more complex item like a tripod to lower personnel into a confined space. This equipment is hauled on several units that come from different department. Erlanger’s equipment is on a Specialized Rescue Truck. The truck is recognized as Rescue 74. Several trucks the size of Rescue 74 or bigger can respond to assist with any problems that may occur. Erlanger also has a small trailer with equipment in it. The trailer that is stationed at Erlanger is recognized as Rescue 73. This has a four-wheel drive vehicle, search equipment, and large animal rescue equipment in it. This is a smaller unit that can easily be deployed to incidents to assist.

Erlanger continues to be very involved with the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team. The personnel at Erlanger continue to improve their skills and responsibilities to make the team better prepared to handle situations that arise. Each year personnel take part in several trainings that allow them to work with other departments and allow them to have an understanding of the way incidents should be handled. Erlanger continues to provide service to the NKTRT and are capable of handling many situations that go above and beyond everyday incidents.