Introduction to SAR

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  7. Introduction to SAR

From “Introduction to Search and Rescue” 2008 NASAR


  1. Introduction to Search and Rescue
    • When is a search not a rescue or a rescue not a search
      • Search – identify and locate someone unable to return to a place of safety on their own
      • Rescue – access, stabilize and evacuate the distressed or injured
    • Searcher attitude
      • Strength
      • Agility
      • Flexibility
      • Endurance
    • Searcher qualities
      • Proficient
      • Humble
      • Competent
      • Knowledgeable
      • Solicitous
    • The LAST philosophy (See Table 1 below)
      • Locate
      • Access
      • Stabilize
      • Transport
    • Components of SAR
      • Preplanning
      • Notification
        • Team notification
        • Team member notification
      • Planning and Strategy
      • Operations and Tactics
      • Suspension and Demobilization
      • Critique
        • After Action Report
        • Lessons Learned
        • Review/Modify training
        • Modification of Preplan
    • State and Local SAR Authority/Responsible Authority
    • Legal and Ethics
      • Standard of Care
      • Negligence
        • Duty
        • Breach of Duty
        • Damages
        • Causes
    • Six Expected Traits and Characteristics of a SAR Responder
      • Professional
      • Competent
      • Prepared
      • Focused
      • Trained
      • Caring
  2. NIMS, FEMA, & Dept. of Homeland Security
    • What problems does the ICS (Incident Command System) address?
      • Too many people reporting to one supervisor
      • Different organizational structures
      • Lack of reliable incident information
      • Inadequate and incompatible communications
      • Lack of structure for coordinated planning between agencies
      • Terminology different between agencies
      • Unclear or unspecified incident objectives
    • Features of the Incident Command System part 1
      • Organizationally flexible to expand and contract
      • Efficient to use on a day-to-day basis
      • Use common terminology
      • Cost effective
    • Features of the Incident Command System part 2 (Most of these will be common sense after some thought):
      • Common Terminology – standard titles for facilities and positions within the organization. Common terminology also includes the use of “clear text”—that is, communication without the use of agency-specific codes or jargon. In other words, use plain English.
      • Modular Organization – a flexible organizational structure that can expand and contract based on the size and complexity of an incident.
      • Chain of Command – there is an orderly line of authority within the ranks of the organization, with lower levels subordinate to, and connected to, higher levels.
      • Unity of Command – everyone has one, and only one, supervisor
      • Unified Command – a team effort process, allowing all agencies with geographical or functional responsibility for an incident, to assign an Incident Commander to a Unified Command organization.
      • Span of Control – is the number of subordinates a supervisor manages. From 3 to 7, 5 is idea.
      • Pre-designated Incident Facilities – The Incident Command System (ICS) uses pre-designated incident facilities and locations. The Incident Commander establishes these facilities based on the complexity and requirements of the incident.
      • Resource Management – Resource management in ICS involves managing resources like: Personnel, Teams, Equipment, Supplies, Facilities.
      • Integrated Communications – the practice of aligning messages, symbols, procedures, and behaviors to communicate clearly and consistently. It’s a strategic approach to ensure messages are delivered consistently to the right people at the right time and in the right way.
      • Transfer of Command – the process of moving the responsibility for incident command from one person to another. The initial Incident Commander will remain in charge until transfer of command is accomplished.
  3. Introduction to Basic Land Navigation
    • Being Geographically Oriented
    • Compass
    • GPS
    • Headings
    • Bearings
    • Maps
    • Measuring Distance
    • Coordinate Grid Systems
      • Latitude and Longitude
      • UTM
  4. Search and Rescue Resource
    • Search Team
    • Grid Search Team
    • Human Trackers
    • Search Management
    • Interviewers and Investigation
    • Technical Rope Rescue
    • Urban Search and Rescue
    • Mountain Rescue
    • Water Rescue
    • Canine
      • Air Scent
      • Tracking
      • Police
      • Trailing
      • Human Remains Detection
      • Disaster
      • Avalanche
      • Water Search
    • Equestrian SAR Teams
  5. Search Philosophy
    • The Theoretical Search Area = the distance the subject could have traveled in the time elapsed
    • The Crucials of SAR
      • Search is an emergency
      • Maximize the probability of success in the minimum amount of time with the right resources
      • Search is a classical mystery
      • Search for clues and the subject
      • Focus on aspects important to success
      • Know if the subject leaves the search area
      • Use tight grid search as a last resort
    • POS = POA x POD
    • Probability of Success equals Probability of Area times Probability of Detection
    • POA is the probability of the subject or clue being in the search area or segment.
    • POD is the probability of the search object being detected.
    • LKP = Last Known Point = last place the subject is verifiably known to have been
    • PLS = Point Last Seen = the location at which someone can confirm that the subject was visually identified
    • IPP = Initial Planning Point – the starting point. Normally the LKP or PLS. The Incident Command Post will usually be in a different location in order to not destroy clues
  6. Clue Consciousness
    • Are all clues signs, are all signs clues?
    • Clue – objects or facts that may help solve the mystery
    • Sign – any evidence of change from the natural state
    • Clue Awareness – detailed information that the clue provides
      • The importance of clues to the overall search effort
      • Why we focus search efforts for clues and not specifically for the subject
      • Which clues could possibly be found that could be associated with the lost person
      • How, when, and where to search an area
      • How to handle clues once found
      • The importance of searching at night
      • The lack of clues is also a clue
    • Clue Orientation – the sensor (searcher) <> clue generator (subject) <> the environment
    • Clue Categories
      • Physical – sign or track
      • Recorded – documentation (trail registers, written plan)
      • Testimonial – interviews
      • Analytical – sensory (Help!) and probable (child’s toy)
    • Clue Life Spans – weather, wind, rain, frost/snow/ice, heat, time
  7. Search Tactics
    • Indirect Tactics (Passive)
      • Confinement/Containment – route blocks, lookouts, track traps, road patrols
      • Investigation – the Lost Person Questionnaire Form
      • Attraction – lights, aircraft, fires, beacons, flares, balloons, smoke, horns, voices, gunshots, PA systems, sirens, whistles
    • Direct Tactics (Active)
      • Immediate/Hasty search/Trail running
      • Human trackers
      • Trailing dogs
  8. Search Operations
    • Search Urgency
      • Age
      • Medical condition
      • Number of subjects
      • Subject experience profile
      • Weather profile
      • Equipment profile
      • Terrain/Hazards profile
    • Arriving on Scene/Check-In
      • Name of agency or organization
      • Whether the resource is a single resource, strike team, or a task force
      • The kind of resource
      • The type of resource
      • Name/I.D. number
      • Date and time resource is checking-in
      • Resource leader’s name, other members’ names
      • Number of personnel
      • Whether a manifest is provided
      • Weight of crews or individual’s weight
      • Home base and contact information
      • Departure point
      • Method of travel
      • Incident assignment (if known)
      • Other qualifications
    • Initial search management tasks
      • Identify the incident command post
      • Establish a staging area with a check-in
      • Corroborate and protect the PLS/LKP
      • Start the investigative process with the LPQ – Lost Person Questionnaire
      • Protect any potential scent articles, subject’s residence or other clues
      • Begin confinement tactics (media, road patrols/blocks, etc)
      • Identify initial incident objectives and resource need
    • General and Tactical Briefings
      • General situation
      • Overall strategies
      • Organization of the mission and identification of command and general staff members
      • Agencies providing resources
      • General subject information
      • Safety briefing
  9. Introduction to Lost Person Behavior
    • Who are we searching for? Subject behavioral profile:
      • How far can the subject travel?
      • How large should the search area be?
      • Where should confinement tactics be used?
      • How thoroughly should we search?
      • What kind of clues should we search for?
      • How difficult will it be to detect the subject?
      • Will the subject respond or evade?
      • When is it time to suspend the search effort?
    • The subject behavioral profiles is used to:
      • Determine search strategy
      • Define the search area
      • Estimate resource needs
      • Map the search area
      • Brief search teams
    • Planning Data
    • Search Data (LPQ – Lost Person Questionnaire)
      • Lost Subject’s
        • Name
        • Gender
        • Physical description
          • height and weight
          • age
          • build
          • hair color, length, and style
          • facial hair
          • facial features
          • distinguishing marks
          • general apperance
      • Lost Subject’s Clothing
        • Kind and type
        • Style
        • Color
        • Size Overall detectability
        • Footwear
          • size measurement
          • sole style
      • Lost subject’s Habit/Personality
        • Smoke? What, brand, how many time per day
        • Alcohol? what, brand how much
        • Drugs? what, brand, how much
        • Gum, candy, anything else?
      • Lost Subject’s Heath/Condition
        • Overall physical condition
        • Disabilities
        • Medication? types, dosage
        • Vision – eyeglasses/contacts
        • Travel aids (cane, walker, etc)
      • Subject’s Equipment
        • Specialty equipment (backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, ground pads, etc)
        • Fishing gear
        • Camera gear
        • Money/credit cards
  10. Getting Involved

Table 1 from chapter 1 p15



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