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* Air Ops Newest Tool - World's Lightest Flying Robot

* Crowds Often Smarter Than Individuals

* NASAR Looking for Legal Advisor

* NASAR Train-the-Trainer Positions Now Available

* Information on Junior Service Programs

* New Additions to the MRA Educational Programs

* Affirmation of "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in an Earthquake

* USFA Course Prepares EMS Responders for Multiple Casualty Events

* Homeland Security Research Site

* First Responder Hazardous Material Response

* Financial First Aid




 Online version at www.SARNEWS.com 12/22/2004



Air Ops Newest Tool - World's Lightest Flying Robot


Imagine tracing your containment path or a search pattern into a laptop

computer.  Then with the GPS coordinates downloaded into your flying robot

you launch a mini-helicopter complete with video download of the search

pattern.  The robot capable of such feats has already been developed.  It is

estimated a commercial version will be available in two years with search

and rescue as one of the markets. The web page also offers a video clip of

the robot in flight. In the future it may be even more difficult to tear

people away from computer screens and get them out into the field.





Crowds Often Smarter Than Individuals


A new book by James Surowiecki called The Wisdom of Crowds makes the point

that the many are often smarter than the few.  This concept is familiar to

many in search management, better known as a Mattson Consensus process.  The

process was used in the 1968 search for the missing submarine Scorpion.  A

roomful of divergent experts independently gave input and determined a position using

Bayesian statistics (something the people who write SAR programs do for us behind the

scenes).  The position was correct by 220 yards.


The book points out the most important factor may be who is assembled to

conduct the consensus.  The group should be autonomous, decentralized, and members

should be from different backgrounds.  In other words, don't gather all Incident

Commanders trained by the same person and from the same team.  Instead,

gather up a team that includes the IC, planners, local law enforcement,

experienced field resources (team leaders, trackers, dog handlers), a

behaviorist, or others that bring an educated but diverse outlook on the




NASAR Looking for Legal Advisor


The NASAR Board of Directors recently approved the addition of a legal

advisor to its leadership base.  If you are an attorney interested in a

volunteer position on the Board of Directors, please submit a cover

letter and resume via email to media@nasar.org






NASAR Train-the-Trainer Positions Now Available


NASAR is currently seeking applicants for the contract position of

Instructor Trainer (IT).  It will be the responsibility of the IT to

coordinate and conduct Train-the-Trainer workshops for organizations

that choose to license the NASAR education programs for the purpose of

instructing and/or certifying the members of their organization in the

field of search and rescue according to criteria established by NASAR.

Travel is required.





Information on Junior Service Programs


Many SAR teams have or have considered junior programs.  A recent

downloadable publication from the VFIS provides information on setting up a

program, different types of programs, recruitment and retention, and legal






New Additions to the MRA Educational Programs



First, "Public Information Officers in Search and Rescue Operations" is a

program aimed at providing pertinent information about how to work with the

media during and after rescue operations.  This material (found at

http://www.mra.org/PublicInformationOfficerinSAR.pdf) is designed

particularly for those on your rescue team who have contact with media

sources during and after SAR operations.


Second, "Mountain Rescue: High Performance Operations" by Tim LaMacchio has

been added to our Mountain Rescue Training Programs section.  This

innovative course (available at http://www.mra.org/HighPerformanceOperations.pdf) 

addresses those important factors that influence a mountain rescue teamís performance, success, and operations.


This "High Performance" program is the latest in our recent series of

abstract programs that address risk management and performance factors.  It

joins the last of the recent additions to our programs, called "Situational

Awareness in Search and Rescue Operations." You can find this program on

the MRA web site at 





 Affirmation of "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in an Earthquake


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has posted information

on its Web site that affirms the earthquake safety advice "Drop,

Cover, and Hold On" and provides accurate illustrations showing the

proper procedure. This was done in response to a flurry of inquiries

that asked FEMA and other agencies if the recommendation to "drop,

cover, and hold on" remained accurate. This information is available

at http://www.fema.gov/hazards/earthquakes/nehrp/hold.shtm.


The National Disaster Education Coalition also has a statement about

this issue, titled "Triangle of Life," on its web site at




USFA Course Prepares EMS Responders for Multiple Casualty Events


The U.S. Fire Administration is offering a new online course designed

to help emergency medical service (EMS) personnel respond more

effectively when faced with a multiple casualty incident. The new

independent study course -- EMS Operations at Multicasualty Incidents,

Q157 -- is a four hour, web-based course that addresses preparedness

planning, incident management, safe and efficient triage, treatment,

transportation of patients, and the de-escalation of the response.

Access the course at





Homeland Security Research Site


The primary role of the National Academic Consortium for Homeland

Security is to promote, support, and enhance academic research,

technology development, education and training, and service programs

dealing with all aspects of international and homeland security

through collaboration and information sharing.






First Responder Hazardous Material Response


This book is the result of an extensive study of available hazardous

materials response resources for first responders undertaken by the

United States Fire Administration (USFA). The study concluded that, while

several excellent and technically accurate resources are available,

none are directed to the specific needs of the first responder trained

at the awareness or operational levels of training, which are the training

levels of most first responders. It is the hope and the intent of the

USFA that this book, which is only available online, will be that much

needed resource.





Financial First Aid


Operation Hope offers a free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit on its

web site. Designed to help Americans minimize the financial impact of

a natural disaster or national emergency, this tool helps users

identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick

reference to important financial documents. A Spanish version is under






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