Search and Rescue Plan
Event Coordinator's Responsibilities
- Maintain a list of phone numbers of search resources (Park Ranger, Sheriff's Office, etc.)
- Verify a search is necessary.
- Supervise (or designate another to supervise) the conduct of the initial THREE stages of the search.
- Establish a search base at the Start (or Finish, or Registration area) and remain there until relieved by authorized search personnel.
- Conduct initial interviews with all available competitors (and others in the area) to establish Point Last Seen and Last Known Position.
- Recruit experienced orienteers for Hasty Search. Establish ground rules for signaling:
- Three long whistle blasts at 1 to 2 minute intervals to signal for help;
- 5 to 10 short blasts of car horn at 1 to 2 minute intervals to signal searchers to return to base.
Determine the Need for a Search
- Check control card stubs and start list to monitor any 'overdue' competitors.
- Compare registration of vehicles/license numbers to verify that subjects have not simply left without checking in at finish.
- Identify, to the extent possible, who is lost, with descriptions, and interview attendees for acquaintances who may know the subjects habits/abilities/whereabouts.
Stage I - Prepare for Search
- Notify authorities that a search may be necessary and inform them of steps being taken.
- Identify, as much as possible, the subject(s) age, physical condition, shoe size and type, clothing and equipment carried. Brief searchers with this information and record for future use.
- Protect scent articles. DO NOT TOUCH or relocate possible scent articles, wait for search dog handler to collect them in the event dogs are used.
- Estimate distance traveled and prepare a perimeter map identifying bordering roadways and rights of way.
- Initiate confinement. Place observers on roadways and trails the subject is likely to cross. Instruct them to take care not to destroy possible sign such as footprints.
Stage II - Hasty Search
Stage III - Notification and Transfer of Search to Responsible Agency
- Assign teams of two to walk or jog the lost person(s) course in opposite directions.
- Instruct teams to pause frequently looking ahead, back and side to side while using voice or single whistle blasts.
- Establish a time for searchers to return to the search base.
- Notify Authorities that a search is required.
- Transfer information regarding the subject to the individual responsible for coordinating the search.
- Support the search as required by the responsible authorities.