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dbS SAR Newsletter


Here is Your www.dbs-SAR.com Newsletter October 25, 2001 E-mail Bulletin


Sponsored by SAR Camp, SAR professionals serving SAR professionals



 *   WTC/Pentagon Terrorism- The Nature of Hero’s
 *    Absence of Newsletter
 *    Free FEMA Terrorism Course for First Responders
 *    Free FEMA Terrorism Book for First Responders
 *    FEMA web based chemical/biological weapons symptoms resource
 *    SAR Grant from Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
 *    Red Cross Brochure on Terrorism- Home Preparedness
 *    Public Safety Officer's Death Benefit  
 *    Public Safety Officer's Educational Assistance Program  
 *    Disaster Resources
 *    FEMA's List of Disaster Resources
 *    Updates to SAR Disk 2001


(See below for links. Either click on any active [i.e. underlined] link, or copy and paste link into your Internet browser.) You may also visit the following link to obtain an on-line version of the newsletter.

WTC/Pentagon Terrorism-

Can anyone find the right words?  Can we even find the correct emotions?  We always knew the hearts and souls of our fellow firefighters, EMS crews, and law enforcement.  Now the country and world share both our pain and pride. It is with little doubt thousands of Heroes were consumed by the dust and fires of ignorant hate. The stories of friends, strength of strangers, heroic acts that can never be told.  The definition of hero as been renewed.  All of us wished to rush to aid, to assist, to help.  Rest assured, all of what we do now helps others, heals others, gives strength to others, and helps ourselves  Peace and strength to all in the noble brotherhood of rescue. We are the guardians of good and just.

Absence of Newsletter

Dear valued subscribers several months ago I was suddenly dispatched by FEMA to West Virginia to assist with flooding. Additional tragic flooding and other events increased the deployment. Steps have been taken to help ensure a regular release of news of interest and importance when I’m away from the office. I look forward to the opportunity to provide you with search and rescue related news. This issue has a special emphasis on terrorism, but search and rescue providers should find it all applicable.


Free On-line USFA Terrorism Course for First Responders

Emergency Response to Terrorism: Self-Study (Q534)

This course is self-paced, paper-based document and is designed to provide the basic awareness training to prepare first responders to respond to incidents of terrorism safely and effectively. Students who successfully complete the exam will be eligible for a FEMA/BJA certificate of training. You are able to download all the course material and test off the web.



*Free FEMA Terrorism Book for First Responders

 The National Fire Academy (NFA) is pleased to announce the completion and release of the Emergency Response to Terrorism: Job Aid (ERT:JA), designed and produced through a joint partnership of FEMA/USFA/NFA and the DOJ/OJP. The document is intended to support, not replace, the training messages of the ERT NFA curriculum. It is not a training manual but a "memory jogger" for those who have completed the appropriate level of training. The Job Aid is divided into five primary sections that are tabbed and color coded for rapid access to information:  Introduction (Gray) , Operational Considerations (Yellow) , Incident-Specific Actions (White), Agency-related Issues (Blue), Glossary (Tan) .  The ERT:JA is sized to fit into a coverall or work jacket pocket, or the glove box or center console of response vehicles. Other user-friendly features are: Weather resistant, thin plastic pages, Ability to turn the pages with gloved hands, Ability to write with dry marker or to permanently inscribe contact information with indelible markers, Written in simple language and recognizable terms

The Job Aid is available free of charge from the USFA Publications Center to response organizations ordering 5 or fewer copies. Other organizations and individuals may order one copy.


*FEMA web based chemical/biological weapons symptoms resource

The Rapid Response Information System (RRIS) can be used as a reference guide, a training aid, and an overall planning and training resource for response to a chemical, biological and/or nuclear (NBC) terrorist incident. The RRIS contains databases of characteristics and safety precautions for NBC agents and materials, a database of NBC specific Federal Response Capabilities, a list of commercially available NBC unique equipment, and detailed information on the Federal government's surplus property program. Additional information can be obtained from the site listed below. 



* Red Cross Brochure on Terrorism

The Red Cross is  pleased  to announce a new brochure on terrorism.  You cannot truly function as a SAR provider if your mind is on your family.  These are basic steps that every family needs to take and follow. The brochure is on the Red Cross web site at:

It addresses most common questions asked and that the Red Cross, can comfortably address and have information about. Like the "Y2K"  brochure, it is intended to be informative, non-alarmist, but factual and forthright. It covers shelter-in-place and evacuation instructions, as well as provides other useful information."


 *Public Safety Officers Death Benefit

Many of us have now faced the fact that being a public safety officer can bring about an untimely death.  Many volunteer teams don’t offer any type benefits.  Fortunately, within the United States SAR providers killed or permanently disabled in the line-of-duty may be eligible for the Public Safety Officer’s Benefit Program.  As any Federal program it has certain documentation requirements.  First, make sure your team is chartered or recognized by a local government.  When a fellow team member was killed on a search our team had a memorandum of understanding with the State but not the local government.  We were fortunate in that the local government passed a retroactive resolution.  In addition, a toxicology report is required to prove the fatality was not a result of alcohol or drug intoxication.  In special cases (WTC is an example) the toxicology requirement can be waived.  The benefit is now $151,635.  The payment is direct, tax-free, and has no restrictions on its use.  A rather impressive benefit from the federal government for those in a time of great need and sorrow. 


 To provide a death benefit to the eligible survivors of Federal, State or local public safety officers whose death is the direct and proximate result of a personal (traumatic) injury sustained in the line of duty. The benefit is adjusted by the percentage of change in the Consumer Price Index during the previous year. Effective November 29, 1990, the Act also provides the same benefit to a public safety officer who has been permanently and totally disabled as the direct result of a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty. The injury must permanently prevent the officer from performing any gainful work.


 A public safety officer is a person serving a public agency in an official capacity, with or without compensation, as a law enforcement officer, firefighter or member of a public rescue squad or ambulance crew. Law enforcement officers include but are not limited to police, corrections, probation, parole and judicial officers. Volunteer firefighters and members of volunteer rescue squads and ambulance crews are covered if they are officially recognized or designated members of legally organized volunteer fire, rescue or ambulance departments. Disabled public safety officers and eligible survivors of deceased public safety officers in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Pacific Trust Territories and the Northern Mariana Islands are also entitled to benefits under the Act.


Benefits Office
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, DC  20531


*Public Safety Officer’s Educational Assistance Program

In addition to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit Program, a second program is available to assist with the higher education of spouses and children of Public Safety Officers’ killed in the line-of-duty.  The allowance is currently $485 per month for full-time students and is increased with education indexes.




*SAR Grant from Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’

dbS Productions is pleased to announce it received a contract to provide the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services with a CD disk that provides an interactive scenario based learning tool for searches related to wandering Alzheimer’s disease subjects.  Several different map scenarios are presented, covering wilderness, rural, suburban, and urban environments.


*Disaster Resources for Terrorism Response and Recovery

Here is another link for terrorism related resources we were asked to pass on.


The categories of resources are organized as follows:
1. How to Report Tips for the Investigation
2. Free Response & Recovery Resources from the Private Sector
3. Additional Response & Recovery Resources from the Private Sector
4. Response & Recovery Resources from the Public Sector
5. Articles about Disaster Response & Human Concerns
6. Information Updates
7. Victim Information
8. How You Can Help!


*FEMA’s list of Resources for those affected by terrorism



*Updates to SAR Disk 2001

 dbS Production's SAR Disk 2001 has recently been revised to include FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue Team Training Manuals and Guides.  The manuals include the training manuals for canine teams, equipment cache specifications, Incident Operations Support, Information and planning specialist, logistics specialist, medical specialist, and the structural collapse specialist manual.  The disk stays at the original price of $49.95 and my be ordered direct from dbS Productions, SAR Camp, or NASAR.

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