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Harold Schapelhouman, The World of Rescue

Harold Schapelhouman The World of Rescue
by Harold Schapelhouman

Harold Schapelhouman is a 25-year veteran firefighter with the Menlo Park (California) Fire Protection District. At the start of 2007, he became the first internally selected fire chief in 21 years for his organization. Previously, he was the division chief in charge of special operations, which includes all district specialized preparedness efforts, the local and state water rescue program, as well as the local, state and national Urban Search and Rescue Program (US&R).

Harold is the task force leader in charge of California Task Force 3, one of the eight California Urban Search and Rescue Teams, and one of the 28 Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS/FEMA) Teams. He was involved with the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, 1992 Hurricane Iniki which struck Hawaii, 1994 Northridge Earthquake which struck Los Angeles, the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist bombing, the 1997 and 1998 California floods, the 1999 Chi Chi Earthquake in Taiwan, the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack, 2002 Winter Olympics preparedness efforts in Salt Lake City, recovery of the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts in 2003, the 2004 Republican National Convention security detail, Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan, and most recently Hurricane Katrina with for Water Rescue.

Harold Chairs the California State FIRESCOPE US&R Working Group, as well as the State’s US&R Training Working Group. In addition, he is also an instructor with the College of San Mateo (California) where he teaches Fire Technology. Email him at

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