Thread: Basic SAR

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    southern ky.

    Question Basic SAR

    I have been tasked with reorganizing a defunct (Rescue Squad) Emergency Response Team. We will initially have a very limited scope. Our mission will be basic search and rescue operations in a rural community. Technical rescue is currently being done by our two local vol. fire departments. I will be drawing from these departments for my members, as well as the community at large.

    Given a blank slate and a 16ft enclosed trailer how would you begin to equip this team. Our budget is only about $6,000. this year.

    thanks in advance for your opinions and help.

  2. #2
    Keepin it real
    Fyrechicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Erial, New Jersey


    Take a look around at your local risks and go from there, Rivers lakes water rescue, Industial sectors maybe confined space or high angle rescue or even trench rescue. Take a look at this thread...

    you can do a search here also..

    Hope this helps..
    Peace to our fallen brothers...

    9/11/01 NYC WTC

    7/4/02 Gloucester City, NJ

    -=IACOJ=- The proof is in the crust

    ......Work hard, play hard, and always have fun along the way......

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Orlando Florida


    Like the other person answered you need to know the areas where the unit would be needed. Lakes industrial settings, farm and farm equipment.

    Once that is done I would see where my personnel are currently trained and where the training needs to be improved.

    With your limited budget I would check with the Lowes and Home Depots of the area to see if they would donated hand tools, power tools generators etc in exchange for the media coverage they would get in the donation to the community. Even a thank you on the trailer ie sponsered by might be enough of a carrot to dangle at them.

    I have SOP's available upon request if needed that might help you.

    Dave Williams
    Lieutenant / Paramedic
    Orlando Fire Dept
    Orlando Fla

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Somewhere in the Backcountry...


    Define your scope of operations before you spend $$ on equipment. You mention that local FD resources are going to be providing the technical rescue skills/response so that will limit the need for extensive/specialized equipment beyond personal equipment for members.

    If you are going to be primarily involved in searches/rescues of lost/missing people in rural settings, your best bet may be to get training in managing search operations, understanding lost person behavior, POA/POD, etc. Check out the National Assoc. for Search and Rescue (NASAR) @ They offer courses on search and rescue to help you develop skilled searchers.

    Most equipment needs will be to equip personnel for safe operations in environments you are likely to encounter. Plan according to the likely SAR scenarios you are likely to see. Good communication equipment is always a worthwhile investment - make sure it is compatible with other local emergency agencies.

    You might check out other groups in your state or surrounding areas. There are often good resources that can help you out.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default What kind of SAR???

    What kind of SAR are you referring too?? Give us some examples please.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2002
    St. Louis Area


    With confined space many companies without on site teams. Will donate money, equipment and training to meet the OSHA requirement. They can't designate the fire department to perform the service without your consent. If they do wish to designate your department, they are required to fund placing the responsibility on you.
    I would also try to use equipment for multiple purposes: gas detector, rope, etc. Those items should be in use on some departments routine runs. If you have caves in the area. The NCRC may have an equipment cache you can train with for technical/ cave rescue.
    One tactic which works, call a company and ask to do a preplan of the facility. You can bring up some of the equipment issues and later give them a plaque for their donation. Plus they normally feed you and give you a cap or t-shirt, some of then anyway. Check how far an area with you cover. If you include adjacent counties or township the membership or equipment donations may increase.
    Check the State and Federal Park services to see what equipment they have or would donate for you to respond on their property.
    NFPA 1670, 1006 is good, NASAR is good, NCRC is good, at least 1 multi-agency mock rescue annually is good, your State EMA should be good, having a few rescue techs also trained as a EMT-B or EMT-P is very good, Wal-Mart has a lot of cheep items and I would strongly consider taking the advice of the all previous posts. I have been to many department and talked with specialized teams.

    A major problem with us in the specialized services is consistent progressive training. We tend to train to meet a standard get equipment and fall into a routine of doing the bare minimum training or none at all. Train for the worse case and practice like your play.

    FF 1/2, Tech. Rescue, Hazmat, NREMT-B, NASAR and NSS

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    truck6alpha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Hilton Head Island, SC


    1. Analyze your jurisdiction to find out what hazards exist.

    2. Determine what level of response will be needed in order to mitigate an emergency involving those hazards (very simplistic way to look at it: Recognize emergency, keep responders from getting hurt, keep incident from getting worse = Awareness; mitigate situation without getting inside it = Operations; get into it = Tech)

    3. Determine what resources already exist to handle those emergencies (no sense in duplicating what already exists).

    4. Determine what you would need to buy, train, plan, etc. to handle the emergencies that aren't covered by someone else.

    5. Make a plan to build a solid foundation of Awareness level, THEN Operations level, THEN Tech level, depending upon the level you choose to provide.

    Some words of advice:

    Don't assume you have to take everything to the Tech level. Walk before you run. Have a good plan to take you from Point A to Point B, make sure you have good operating guidelines and train your people thoroughly in how they work.

    With a limited budget, don't try to duplicate something someone else is providing, unless they're so inept at it that it's going to make you and your own department look bad unless your team provides the service.

    Start with some basic tools before jumping out there to buy the fancy stuff. Check with Home Depot, local supply companies, etc. You'll be surprised at how much they'll want to help you.

    All of the other advice in this thread so far has been sound advice. That's the last piece of advice- get as much of it as possible. There's no one way to do anything in rescue.

    Hope it helps.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force

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