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* Recent Releases on Land SAR Theory
* Detectability Experiments Are Being Conducted Around the Country
* National Incident Management System (NIMS) Adopted as National Standard
* Lost Person Behavior Workshop
* Articles Wanted
* Assessing Risks in Volunteer Fire Departments
* FEMA and NFPA Combined Course Catalog
* Federal Typing of SAR Teams
* Noted Canadian SAR Leader Killed in Line of Duty
* Education Coalition Publishes Disaster Guide
* FEMA Review of San Jose, California Incident Response
* New Water Purification Device
* Tacoma Mountain Rescue Members Killed In Alberta Avalanche
* Updated Version of RescueRigger Available
* FEMA/USFA Fire and Emergency Services Preparedness Guide
* 2004 NASAR Officers Chosen
* SARSCENE Recent Issue Contents
* Magazine Directs Climbers Over Cliff
* New International Journal of Disaster Medicine
* GPS for SAR

 Online version at www.SARNEWS.com 3/19/04
Recent Releases on Land SAR Theory

Several papers have recently been released by several authors that take
a critical look at current Ground Search and Rescue Planning.  The first
paper by Don O'Connor reflects the search theory familiar to most ground
practitioners.  Titled "Controversial Topics in Inland SAR Planning," the
paper looks at the recent infusion of SAR theory from Operations Research
as used by the US Coast Guard.  O'Connor's paper can be found in the first
link below.  The second paper, "Compatibility of Land SAR Procedures with
Search Theory" was made available by The National Search and Rescue
Committee on its web page found in the second link below. In the third
link, the authors of the Compatibility study commented on O'Connor's
paper. Today Charles Twardy of SARBayes published a simple concise review
of the Land SAR Procedures paper. At the NASAR annual conference in
Lansdowne, VA on June 2-5, 2004, NASAR will be hosting a series of
workshops on this topic (presented by the authors of the Compatibility
study) as well as a plenary session to allow for objective, dispassionate
conversation on the issue. 



Detectability Experiments Are Being Conducted Around the Country

Volunteer searchers are needed for an exciting new experiment that is
taking a closer look at how to determine the Probability of Detection
(POD), an important part of modern SAR theory.  Previous studies have
always relied  on a team moving through the woods at certain spacings.
However, on most searches team leaders are simply asked what they think
their POD values are. Actual field experiments have clearly shown most
individuals cannot determine what they did not see.  Instead, modern
search theory is based on field experiments to develop detectability
curves called sweep widths.  The National Search and Rescue Committee
authorized a research project to conduct detectability experiments
around the country.  The research will enable teams in the future to
indicate what they actually saw (terrain type, weather conditions, the
type of clues being looked for, the number of searchers, time in the
field, speed of movement, fatigue of team, etc. and a simple spread-sheet
will quickly calculate the POD value.  Future work may also allow the
development of paper charts. 

The experiments are currently scheduled for:

March 27        Virginia, Shenandoah National Park

April 30        New Mexico

May 21  Washington

June 3  Virginia, NASAR Conference

July            Indiana, CAP Only

California, Bay Area

For additional information or to participate in the experiment, please
contact Robert Koester:
National Incident Management System (NIMS)Adopted as National Standard

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced
on March 1 the approval of the National Incident Management System (NIMS),
the Nation's first standardized management approach that unifies
federal, state, and local lines of government for incident response.

NIMS establishes Incident Command System (ICS)as a standard incident
management organization with five functional areas -- command, operations,
planning, logistics, and finance/administration -- for management of all
major incidents.   To ensure further coordination, and during incidents
involving multiple jurisdictions or agencies, the principle of unified
command has been universally incorporated into NIMS. This unified command
not only coordinates the efforts of many jurisdictions, but provides
for and assures joint decisions on objectives, strategies, plans,
priorities, and public communications.

Other components of NIMS includes establishment of Joint Information
System and the NIMS Integration Center which serves to keep NIMS updated
and training material available.

Lost Person Behavior Workshop

A recently completed data project collected 17,000 cases of missing
person searches from around the world.  The results will be presented
during this two-day workshop, which will teach participants several new
methods of looking at missing person searches based on lost person
behavior. Several new profiles will be presented including ATV drivers,
snowmobilers, mushroom pickers, autistic children, and others.  Emphasis
will also be placed on the previous research on Alzheimer's patients and
despondents, as well as psychotic, mental retardation, abduction, and
urban cases.  Extensive use of case studies and map problems will allow
the participants to work through dozens of scenarios.

This workshop will be part of the NASAR pre-confernence events May 31-
June 1, 2004 in Lansdowne, Virginia.  Cost is $199 and includes meals.

Articles Wanted

Articles from practitioners as well as researchers are invited for the
3rd issue of the new electronic "Journal of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management" due out in early summer. Articles must be
submitted electronically. Details about submission requirements
are on the homepage:
http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/. The journal also
welcomes "news from the field" and letters to the editor.

Assessing Risks in Volunteer Fire Departments

A 2000 survey found that more than 87% of U.S. fire departments are
staffed by all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer firefighters and
officers. In addition, a very high percentage of those departments
protect communities of fewer than 25,000 people.

In recognition of this, the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) will
hold a virtual symposium on "Risk Assessment and Planning for
Volunteer Fire Departments." The symposium is aimed at assisting
volunteer officials to assess their particular risks and challenges
and introducing a framework for strategic planning.

The web-based symposium will be presented May 17-21, 2004 on PERI's web
site and via e-mail. Enrollment is free, and fire officials or
firefighters from all-volunteer or combination departments are urged to


FEMA and NFA Combined Course Catalog

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has issued the first catalog combining courses for both
the National Fire Academy (NFA) and Emergency Management Institute
(EMI). The 272-page catalogue for FY 2005 is available on-line
immediately; paper copies will soon be available.


Federal Typing of SAR Teams

The goal of the National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative
is to enhance the incident response ability of any jurisdiction through
the use of mutual aid by establishing a comprehensive, integrated,
national mutual aid and resource management system. It is envisioned
that this system will enhance the readiness and ability to respond at all
levels of government by locating and obtaining the appropriate resources
to augment a response to any incident that overwhelms a jurisdiction's
immediate capability to mitigate disaster.

The transcript of the meeting indicates that federal officials still do
not fully understand the nature of SAR teams found in the country. It
is clear that better education of officials is a responsibility of the
SAR community.  Contact information is provided in the link.


Noted Canadian SAR Leader Killed in Line of Duty

A member of the RCMP for more than 30 years, a dog handler and a fervent
supporter of search and rescue, Jim Galloway is remembered for his ready
smile and laugh, keen sense of humor, and dedication to SAR. He was
instrumental in the formation and coordination of the Alberta Civilian
Search Dog Service - Police and civilian search dog handlers working
closely together.

Jim Galloway, 53, was the recipient of the Certificate of Achievement in
Search and Rescue, presented at the awards banquet at the annual Canadian
SARSCENE conference in 2002. He was also a regular presenter at SARSCENE.
The first link demonstrates some of the important work he helped carry out
with SAR Dogs.  The second link is a news report of his death.

Education Coalition Publishes Disaster Guide                                   
A new web-based guide from the National Disaster Education                     
Coalition (NDEC) offers sample disaster education messages on                  
preparing for and responding to a variety of disasters,                        
including hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfire and heat                     
waves. Coalition members crafted the messages to be appropriate,               
accurate, research-based and written in non-technical language.                
The intended audience includes the public-at-large as well as                  
the emergency management and educational communities. The NDEC                 
is composed of federal government agencies and national                        
non-profit organizations. Coalition participants include the                   
American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control, the                       
Department of Homeland Security (including FEMA), the                          
International Association of Emergency Managers and the National               
Weather Service.                                                               

FEMA Review of San Jose, California Incident Response

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a technical
review of the response to the worst fire loss in the history of San Jose,
California with financial damage exceeding $90 million. Fire officials
identified county-wide radio/data interoperability, the need for
additional radio frequencies, and reviewing the mutual aid plan as
priorities to be addressed based on lessons learned in the October 2002
fire. Eventually, 119 firefighters and 31 pieces of apparatus would
respond to the construction site fire; 102 firefighters and 34 pieces of
apparatus would respond to the secondary fire that burned through nearby
residential units. A total of 11 alarms would eventually be dispatched to
the fires.


New Water Purification Device

One of the major problems in disasters (or backcountry hiking or
wilderness search and rescue) is the bacteriological purification of
water ("disinfection"). The combination of mixed oxidants from the
electrolysis of salt water has been used for commercial water supplies.
It is extremely effective (even killing cryptosporidium with just a bit
of extra contact time, unlike iodine or chlorine) and is tasteless and

This process electrolyzes a salt brine solution to provide a mixed-
bag of chlorine-based oxidants--hypochlorous acid and various
chlorine-oxygen combinations.  This won't remove heavy metals, sea
salt, or various poisons, but it does a dandy job on bacteriological


Tacoma Mountain Rescue Members Killed In Alberta Avalanche

Two ice climbers killed in Alberta avalanche are from Tacoma Mountain
Rescue, a search and rescue organization in Pierce County. The men were
climbing an ice waterfall when the avalanche occurred. Two other Tacoma
Mountain Rescue climbers had taken a different route and found the
climbers' bodies when they returned.

One of the men killed was 66-year-old James Andrues who has worked as a
Pierce County Sheriff's deputy since 1999. At age 60, he was one of the
oldest rookie deputies to join the force. He had a long career in the
medical profession and was a Ph.D. but had decided on a new career. He
was also a volunteer with the Tacoma Mountain Rescue.

The second man was John Minor.  John had been climbing for what seemed
his entire life. A career police officer in Redmond, John was devoted to
the Boy Scouts of America and Tacoma Mountain Rescue.  He was an
operations leader and lead instructor for many trainings.

Updated Version of RescueRigger Available

Version 3.0 of RescueRigger is now available.  This program allows the user
to build technical rescue systems on the computer screen.  Perfect for
practice or making illustrations for teaching.  The new version now
calculates the forces applied to your rope rescue system.  The calculations
consider the weight of the gear, friction, and the mechanical advantage.
It will even give you a warning if you are overloading your gear.


FEMA/USFA Fire and Emergency Services Preparedness Guide

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) Emergency Management and
Response-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) has
prepared a comprehensive guide for all fire and emergency services
that provides suggestions for activities that may be appropriate for
the five Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) levels. The "Fire
and Emergency Services Preparedness Guide for the Homeland Security
Advisory System" is intended to assist the heads of fire, emergency
response, and emergency medical service agencies with the development
and implementation of appropriate agency-specific preparedness
measures that respond to each threat level, from green to red. The
preparedness actions recommended are not intended to be comprehensive.
However, the developers feel they provide a good place to start
development, or enhancement, of agency-specific plans.


2004 NASAR Officers Chosen

The NASAR Board of Directors conducted its first meeting of the new year
in Chantilly, VA on January 24-25, 2004.

Mike Tuttle, who completed three consecutive one-year terms as NASAR
President, announced his resignation as a member of the Board of
Directors effective January 24, 2004. In accordance with the NASAR
by-laws, the Board then appointed Randy Servis, who was a candidate in
the 2003 Board of Directors' elections, to complete Mr. Tuttle's term as
a Board member which expires in December 2004.

Following the seating of Mr. Servis as an official member of the 2004
Board, the group elected its 2004 officers as follows:

President - Randy Servis (rservis@co.coconino.az.us)
Secretary - Jim Stumpf (jimstumpf@prodigy.net)
Treasurer - Larry Pugh (ljpugh@asheboro.com)

Our congratulations to each of them! We look forward to an exciting and
productive year.
SARSCENE Recent Issue Contents

SARSCENE the SAR Publication from the Canadian SAR Secretariat recently
announced they will stop printing the publication but instead issue it
as an electronic PDF.  If you want to sign-up to receive an email
notification when a new issue is ready you can sign-up online.  The most
recent issue includes the following articles: Parks Canada, Provincial
support for a National Avalanche Centre, New SAR Skills Handbook, New
Canadian Directory of Emergency Services, Harry Strong receives Order of
Canada, SAR Mission Management System wins award, Six Labradors (no not
the dog) take historic flight, pre-incident mental conditioning, and more.


Magazine Directs Climbers Over Cliff

Oops.  A leading magazine in Great Britain wrote an article on how to find
a safe route to get off the mountain.  The only problem, they left out
two turns.  So climbers were directed over a cliff. Is that called
anti-PSAR (Preventative Search and Rescue)?


New International Journal of Disaster Medicine

The "International Journal of Disaster Medicine" is the first
international journal devoted exclusively to the field of disaster
medicine. Practitioners and researchers in health-care, academia,
industry, and government around the world will find analyses, ideas,
new application of knowledge, and discussions of topical issues to
help enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of policies in disaster
medicine. The journal will focus on the following themes: experiences
from major accidents and disasters; vulnerability assessment and risk
analyses; planning and preparedness; practical management and
organization in major accident and disasters; and research within all
fields of disaster medicine.


GPS for SAR Article

The GPS User Magazine recently had several excellent articles on how
different SAR teams are using GPS for operations.  The feature article
by David Clarke describes some rather sophisticated uses by SAR teams.


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