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Lost Person Behavior

semi-concealed wiro-o binding, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 416 pages, 107 illustrations, index, references
ISBN: 978-1-879471-39-9
Publisher: dbS Productions
Price: $32, Case of 28-$716.80

  Lost person behavior is the cornerstone of search and rescue efforts. Based upon a landmark study, this book is the definitive guide to solving the puzzle of where a lost person might be found. Nowhere else is it possible to learn about the latest subject categories, behavioral profiles, up to date statistics, suggested initial tasks, and specialized investigative questions. Whether the subject is underground, underwater, under collapsed rubble, on land or has fallen from the sky, this book delivers what search managers need.

Lost Person Behavior provides the reader with:

  • an indispensable book that can be used as a field reference (special rugged binding allows the book to lay flat) and an essential library reference;
  • the latest search and rescue incident statistics from the International Search & Rescue Incident Database (ISRID), which contains over 50,000 SAR incidents;
  • 41 subject categories, many of which are new and presented for the first time;
  • new detailed behavioral profiles that give insight into what drives the basic behaviors of lost people;
  • statistics based upon ecoregions to best match your specific search areas;
  • new types of statistical information; find location, scenario analysis, mobility time, survivability, elevation changes, track offset, dispersion angles, plus classic statistics such as distance from the initial planning point; |view example section|
  • the ability to pinpoint the most likely areas to search, then determine initial tasks quickly using reflex tasking, the bike wheel model, and quick consensus.

The purpose of this book is simple: To help searchers look in the right place to find lost subjects faster.


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This is the best book on search and rescue that has ever been written. All future books on SAR will be measured against this one. This book is a huge leap forward in search and rescue management and provides a wealth of fascinating and practical information. An absolute must read for anyone in search and rescue or related fields.

-Dr. Paul Green, Eastern Washington University

Robert Koester's ground-breaking research has made a science of the study of lost person behavior. This book underscores the importance of that science. Lost Person Behavior is an indispensable part of any rescuer's library.

-Charley Shimanski, President Mountain Rescue Association

This book, Lost Person Behavior, just stepped into the "indispensable" category for search planners, and search management personnel. The research database for lost and missing person behavior analysis and the practical guidance for all missing person categories simply cannot be found anywhere else. Robert J. Koester (Bob) continues to both impress and amaze technicians in the SAR Community with his never-ending enthusiasm for refinement, statistical accuracy and ever-more detailed quest for the specifics on lost and missing person behavior. While Syrotuck and others set the state for the research on lost persons in North America, Bob Koester in his new book follows on with case study analysis and data personally arranged and coordinated from around the world.

The time, effort and commitment necessary to develop, write and produce a book of this caliber speaks for itself. Good, useful, technical publications take time, effort, and a commitment to detail few appreciate, and Koester's book shines. Bob's concept of ISRID (International Search and Rescue Incident Database) has been unprecedented in the SAR world for its potential impact and value. Emergency Response International now uses and has used Koester's data for years and we fully intend to utilize Lost Person Behavior as a primary reference for our Land Search Management Courses into the future.

-R. "Skip" Stoffel, Emergency Response International


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