Search & Rescue Education

Wilderness Search and Rescue Management

This course is designed for individuals with responsibility for initiating, implementing and/or participating in the response to a search for a lost/missing person in a wilderness setting.  This includes incident commanders, first line supervisors, first responders, paid and non-paid personnel with responsibility to initiate search actions and SAR team members.

The principles of search management in pre-planning, search theory, procedures for the initial response, interviewing & investigation, search urgency, lost person behavior, search planning, establishing the search area, probability of detection, ICS, base operations, resources, search tactics, briefing and debriefing, documentation, searcher fatigue and suspending the search are covered.  Case review and tabletops are included.  All work is done in the classroom.

Urban Search Management for Missing Persons

This course is designed for individuals with responsibility for initiating, implementing and/or participating in the response to a search for a missing person in the urban, suburban and rural settings.  This includes incident commanders, first line supervisors, first responders, investigators, paid and non-paid personnel with responsibility to initiate search actions and SAR team members.

The principles of search management specific to the urban - suburban environment in pre-planning, search theory, the initial response, the degree of interviewing & investigation needed, urban search urgency, lost person behavior with emphasis on the relevant missing subject categories, search planninginc, establishing the search area, probability of detection, ICS, base operations, resources and best use, search tactics, briefing and debriefing, documentation, searcher fatigue and suspending the search are covered.  Case review and tabletops are included.  All work is done in the classroom.

Preplanning and planning  the response to search and rescue/recovery for water incidents

Water related incidents for many agencies and departments are infrequent and carry a high risk.  This course is designed for incident commanders, first line supervisors and planners who have the responsibility to develop pre-planning and operational plans for the initial response and the long term management of a search and rescue/recovery water event. 

This program will provide an overview of the information and planning data available to develop a pre-plan, risk assessment, the development of a operational plan, the actions involved in the initial response, the inherent hazards, terrain assessment, personnel safety, the use of the volunteer and trained resources and how  and when best to apply them and equipment requirements and needs.  Case review and tabletop exercises are included.  All work is done in the classroom.

Lost Person Behavior

This course is designed for anyone with responsibility for initiating, implementing and/or participating in the response to a search for a lost/missing person. This includes incident commanders, first line supervisors, first responders, investigators, paid and non-paid personnel with responsibility to initiate search actions and responding SAR team members.

Lost person behavior is a vital planning tool in the response to lost and missing person incidences and search strategy.  Lost person behavior research by SAR individuals’ dates back to the early 1970’s that included 8 subject categories and statistics regarding mobility, age, number in party, reason for becoming lost and for how long.  Today there are 41 subject categories and 76 data fields from the International SAR Incident Database.

The objectives within this course will provide to students an overview of the International SAR Incident Database, the role of statistics in SAR, methods of combining data, lost person strategies, the myths that exist, reflex tasking, subject categories, search theory and the role that cell phone locations and information can contribute to locating a subject.  Case study review and tabletops are included.   All work is done in the classroom.

Interviewing for Search & Rescue

This course will cover the basics of interviewing through to conducting a comprehensive interview for search and rescue cases.  The student will learn the importance of gathering information, building a missing subject profile and their possible behaviors, determining search urgency and using all the gathered information to assist in planning for a search operation.  Case studies for review are included.

Mantracking

This course will teach students how to find clues, be vigilant for the presence of potential evidence, sign cut for disturbance and track and determine a direction of travel of a lost person with the use of the U.S. Border Patrol step-by-step method of locating each foot track.  The program includes a short classroom presentation with the majority of time spent outdoors in the field learning this technique.

Search Tactics & Techniques

This course will teach students how search management can best utilize and assign resources.  The program will cover factors that influence incident command decisions in the deployment of resources.  Students will learn passive and active search tactics to include critical separation.  The program includes classroom and field training exercises.

Crime Scene Approach and Preservation for SAR Resources

This course will teach students what is expected of SAR field workers from law enforcement upon the discovery of a potential crime scene and evidence and the proper techniques to engage to protect and preserve the scene until the arrival of law enforcement security. The student will learn about documentation, the importance of observations and the law enforcement investigative process.

 

Course participant comments

"Josh was a terrific instructor.  She knew her stuff and presented in a very learnable manner.  (If you are going to run this course again next year, I might just sit in for a refresher as I enjoyed it so much.)"

"Josh Stohl was thoroughly enjoyable as both an instructor and occasion story teller.  She knows her subject, is passionate about it and that combination made it very easy for us to understand the material."

"I remember taking a mantracking class from Josh many years ago. She really knows her stuff and communicates it well. Very full and enjoyable weekend." 

"It is easy to see the passion that Josh has with this topic.  She is an excellent speaker and communicates information with some humor but was professional.  She is an example to follow and is a wonderful resource to tap into."

"I thought that all went well - facility was good, instructor was great, and there were plenty of breaks.  I thought the class was a nice mix of search theory and table-top exercises." 

I really enjoyed the overall class content and focus.  I felt that for a two day course, it was successful in showing the details and information that was need at this level.
"The book is an amazing resource and the maps used for exercises were a great tool."
"I enjoyed the group moral and the atmosphere that Josh established.  She was very good about ensuring that everyone could talk and feel comfortable in asking questions."

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