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* Results of First National Search and Rescue Committee POD Experiment
* ATV Use in SAR Standards
* Dogs Help Elderly Suffering From Dementia
* Annual Memorial Slide Show at MRA and NASAR Conferences
* Virginia is First State to Adopt StargazerNET ReadyLinks
* Call for Papers for Fifth Annual International Tracking Symposium
* Gray's Revised Forecast Increases Number of Predicted 2004 Storms
* Designing Back-up Systems
* Too Much CPR Can Decrease Survival Chances
* Oregon 2003 SAR Report
* ELT Search Simulation Software
* National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative
* Colorado SAR Conference Registration
* Illinois-Missouri Search and Rescue Conference
* Open Source SAR Software Announcement (E-GADS)
* SAR Member Killed in Snowmobile Accident
* Future Updates to GPS System

 Online version at www.SARNEWS.com 4/27/04
Results of First National Search & Rescue Committee (NSARC)POD Experiment

On March 27, 2004 sixty-four searchers met on top of the Blue Ridge
Mountains in Shenandoah National Park to conduct a detectability
experiment sponsored by the National Search and Rescue Committee.  The
highly successful experiment was able to determine a sweep width value
for mid-visible (blue) human unresponsive search objects. The sweep-width
value is an experimentally derived "detectability index" that is used to
determine a teams probability of detection (POD) based solely on objective
measures present at the time of the search.  The National Park Service
provided both logistical support and field searchers.  Cole Brown, a
member of the NASAR board of directors, also attended and, after walking
the course, helped out as a data recorder.  The Virginia Department of
Emergency Management provided management and radio support.  Searchers
from eleven different teams participated, including several dog handlers
(without their dogs). 

Over 512 detection opportunities were carefully recorded. Several
environmental factors were also scientifically recorded. The average
maximum detection range in the winter-time eastern hardwood forest
(eco-region M220) for the blue-clad human was 78 meters for detection
and 85 meters for extinction (lost sight).  The average distance at which
vegetation covered 50% of a target was 71 meters.  The experiment
found that the sweep width value for the blue-clad human was 106 meters.

Sweep width takes into consideration the nature of the target (size, color,
etc.), the sensor (human searcher), and the environment (terrain, vegetation,
visibility, etc.). A sweep width together with the actual distances searchers
cover while searching and the size of the segment are used to obtain an
objective estimate of the POD.

This experiment was the first in a series sponsored by NSARC, funded by the
Department of Defense and endorsed by the USAF Rescue Coordination Center
(AFRCC) and NASAR.  Additional experiments are currently scheduled for:

April 30        New Mexico

May 21  Washington

June 3  Virginia, NASAR Conference

June TBA        California, Bay Area

July TBA        Indiana, CAP Only

For additional information or to participate in the experiment, please
contact Robert Koester:

ATV Use in SAR Standards

The Virginia Search and Rescue Council has recently updated its website
to include several of the state standards.  Searchers may be interested
in some of the special standards for dog teams, ATVs, trackers, incident
management by type, and others.


Dogs Help Elderly Suffering from Dementia

Dogs are now being specifically trained in Preventative Search and
Rescue for Dementia cases in Israel.  When issued the command for "home"
the dog leads the owner back home.  In addition, a cell phone call to
the dog results in a high pitched tone that is paired to the home command
and also results in bringing the owner back home.  If all else fails a
GPS chip as been placed with the dog that together with the cell phone
can locate the "Alzheimer" dog at any time.


Annual Memorial Slide Show at MRA and NASAR Conferences

Please submit names of any of your team members, founders, or former
members who have passed on so that they can be remembered at the annual
NASAR (Lansdowne, VA, opening ceremonies) and MRA (Anchorage, AK,
Saturday banquet) conferences in June. Members will be featured in a
PowerPoint slide show set to music and accompanied by bagpipes.

Please allow us the honor and privilege of including these members -
even if you only have a little information and nothing more - by

Tim Kovacs

Virginia is First State to Adopt StargazerNET ReadyLinks

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is the
first state in the nation to adopt StargazerNET ReadyLinks a
Web-based solution to help people, families, groups and
organizations be prepared for any kind of disaster or emergency.
These simple-to-use tools are available on VDEM's Web site at

Virginia residents can set up their own secure, personalized
place on the web where they can find information and communicate
with others in the event of an emergency as well as create their
own personal communications plans.

ReadyLink types include: FamilyLinks(small groups),
BusinessLinks(organizations or work groups), SchoolLinks(any
body of students) and CommunityLinks(community response). Each
type of ReadyLink has a corresponding communications plan
available for families, businesses, schools and communities.


Call for Papers for Fifth Annual International Tracking Symposium

The International Society of Professional Trackers (ISPT) is calling all
trackers: professional and amateur; those involved in law enforcement,
search and rescue, forensic investigation, and nature study; game hunters,
naturalists, recreational trackers, photo journalists, hunting guides,
trappers, survivalists, hobbyists, and others who are interested. They
are also looking for presenters; having published is a plus (but not
required). The symposium is pecifically looking for "new" things that
are happening out in the tracking world.

The conference will be held October 22-25, 2004 in Appomattox, Virginia
at the 4-H Conference Center.  For more information contact:

Roy Hutchinson at hutchinson_roy@hotmail.com or
Del Morris at del903@yahoo.com.

Gray's Revised Forecast Increases Number of Predicted 2004 Storms

In his revised forecast issued earlier this month, Colorado
State University's Dr. William Gray continues to predict an
active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season with an above-average
probability of U.S. landfall. Gray's April forecast increased
the number of predicted hurricanes from seven to eight (average
is 5.9) and named storms from 13 to 14 (average is 9.6). At
least one of those storms has a 52 percent chance of striking
somewhere on the East Coast as a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm.
Gray's tropical meteorology research group from the school's
Department of Atmospheric Science issues seasonal hurricane
forecasts in early December of the previous year, and in early
April, June, August, September and October of the current year.


Designing Back-Up Systems

A recent fire in a Manchester tunnel demonstrated how Murphy loves to
create havoc.  Many firms had established back-up internet and telephone
lines.  However, both sets of line ran through the same tunnel knocking
out all communications.  These are important considerations when designing
Emergency Operations Centers or any critical facility.


Too Much CPR Can Decrease Survival Chances

A recent small initial study suggests that many paramedics are not
following American Heart Association guidelines and tend to give too
many rescue breaths.  The study suggests that an excessive number of
rescue breaths can seriously compromise the effectiveness of the
compressions.  Even after retraining many paramedics still have a
problem waiting 5 seconds between each breath.


Annual SAR Reports

Several states and the AFRCC issued an annual SAR report.  These states
should be commended for keeping records and issuing reports each year.
The combined results of these reports will be reported on for lost person
behavior at a preconference event at NASAR's Response Conference in June. 
Oregon's reports can be found at:


ELT Search Simulation Software

A no-cost download is available from NASA's website that allows the user
to simulate a search for an ELT using aircraft-based equipment.  Also
found on the page is a .wav file that demonstrates the sound an ELT makes.


National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)has been working in
concert with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National
Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and a cross-section of
emergency responders to develop a national intrastate mutual aid
agreement modeled after states that are currently participating in
similar agreements. The goal of FEMA's "National Mutual Aid and
Resource Management Initiative" is to enhance jurisdictional ability
to respond to any incident through using mutual aid, and to create a
national system that builds on existing agreements and compacts to
enhance preparedness and the nation's ability to respond to
emergencies at all levels.  The part of this program most sensitive
to SAR teams in Resource Typing.  A new brochure, which outlines the
programs goals, is now available.  The contractor involved in SAR typing
will be making a presentation at the NASAR Conference in June.


Colorado SAR Board's 2004 Conference

Registration information for the Colorado Search and Rescue Board's 2004
Search and Rescue Conference has been posted to the CSRB web site.  The
conference is May 15-16 in Larkspur, halfway between Denver and
Colorado Springs.


Illinois-Missouri Search and Rescue Conference

On May 21-23 the Illinois-Missouri SAR Conference will be held at Pere
Marquette State Park along the banks of the Mississippi River.  Conference
information is available at:


Open Source SAR Software Announcement (E-GADS)

E-GADS! (Electronic Ground Search and Rescue Administrative Database
System) is an open source web-based database that enables ground search
and rescue teams to track membership, certifications, search reports,
events, and training records. It is fully bilingual (English/French -
easily adaptable) and is currently based on Canadian geographic data and
NSS (National Search and Rescue Secretariat) categorization codes. It is
expected that the software will be adapted for other areas in the
future. It requires PHP 4.x and MySQL 3.x+ and is platform independent.
The software has been tested on Linux and Microsoft Windows systems.


Future Updates to GPS System

The May issue of Scientific American reported on several updates on the
Global Positioning System (GPS) planned for the near future.  The article
does an excellent job of both explaining and illustrating the triangulation
process that a GPS receiver performs.  New GPS satellites are scheduled for
launch in 2005 that will broadcast new signals that will help to eliminate
the major errors caused by the ionosphere.  In 2008 the satellites will
add both an additional frequency and increase the signal four-fold.  It is
expected that the accuracy of a simple civilian model will be in the 30 to
50 centimeter range.  A copy of the article can be downloaded at:


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