FRSAR Bloodhound Olivia
Training in Quitman Texas
FRSAR Board Member Dallas Lane in the command center
SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM
Working together for a positive outcome
With First Response, your search is YOUR SEARCH. We view every lost, missing, abduction or Alzheimer's incident as a police investigation with you being the ultimate incident command. This concept varies from search team to search team. Some teams come in and "take over" the incident without much thought to police procedure and how their actions could affect your case. Another may come in with media in tow and a hundred untrained emergent volunteer searchers with more interest in collecting donations than the person they are searching for.
We do things differently. Our entire search management structure is focused on being a positive contribution to your investigation, not just another problem to deal with.
SEARCH MANAGEMENT BASICS
The key to a successful positive outcome is as simple as 1,2,3:
1.) Preplan; everyone knowing what is needed and expected before the incident.
2.) Early notification and response of trained search resources; get started before it gets out of hand.
3.) limit the search area; securing the scene and containing the missing subject.
FIRST -- Preplan. Do you have one? Is it up to date? Has your staff been briefed on it so they know when and what to do?
We can help you develop or update your plan for the lost, missing person incident at no cost.
SECOND -- Early notification and response of the proper resource is critical. Know your search team before they are needed. Are they certified, uniformed, background checked to meet the latest child protection laws? Don't let your K9 officer convince you that their dog can do it all. Maybe they are good, but they are just one resource, don't delay response trying to handle it internally. Better to have us on our way, to be turned around because you find them, rather than delay and have things spiral out of control.
Our search managers and field searchers are trained to work smart, using the latest techniques in lost person behavior. Example: In an Alzheimer's search, they will usually take a path of least resistance, an open gate or hole in a fence is an attractive path. An untrained emergent searcher might not see an open gate as a major clue, enter the area and leave, closing the gate behind them. Worst yet, using ATV's, untrained searchers can drive over foot prints left by the victim and disrupt scent evidence in the area. They may be looking for a walking victim and miss clues like discarded clothing or the victim collapsed in brush.
One well trained searcher with a trained canine can do the work of 30-40 untrained searchers, throwing bodies at the problem doesn't always result in a positive outcome.
THIRD -- Containment. Every minute you delay containment the possible search area grows and the victims chances of survival diminish. Secure the scene, two very important areas of consideration are the "Place Last Seen" (PLS) and the victims residence and/or bedroom. The PLS gives us a starting point from which to work. The victims residence and or bedroom, even their car, can give us valuable scent evidence to use in our search. We have been on several searches were the well meaning mother cleaned up by changing bedding, picking up clothes, etc. possible destroying the very evidence we need to find their child. Do not stage your operations center near these two locations. Foot traffic and car exhaust can contaminate the area. Secure the scene as if it was a crime scene, this day in age, it may well be.
Yes, all of the above is very basic, but these are the simple things that can
make or break your investigation, our search.
FIRST RESPONSE SEARCH MANAGERS
Our management team has years of experience, trained in the latest search management procedures by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and other missing person resources.
We work for your agency to provide trained and certified field searchers and canines to act as a force multiplier for your agency's response. Our search managers regularly train and work with these searchers. However, they can work to manage other volunteer response as we did during the F3 tornado response for the Ft. Worth OEM in 2000. NIMS compliant, trained in FEMA ICS protocol, we work in a unified command structure acting as an extension or separate branch to your investigation should it grow to that proportion. Our goal is to manage the incident and arrive at a positive outcome BEFORE the general public and the media turn your investigation into a circus.
Operating from one of our vehicles or from your designated command base, all investigations, assignments, debriefing, or other actions taken during the search are fully documented. Even our field teams and canines are tracked using state of the art GPS tracking systems to verify that they were searching the correct area and that it was properly searched. Below is an example of a canine trail documented during a training exercise.
The trail (in light blue) shows the starting point and subsequent trail to the "victims" hiding location a few blocks away in a heavily scent contaminated urban environment. The above map is that of an photo overview, however the trail can be displayed on a standard street map or several other types of maps.
Documentation such as this is scanned and saved digitally with a hard copy to your agency upon the completion of the incident. We respect your investigation and never releasing this information (unless by court order) to anyone but your agency. In addition, all contact with the media must go through your agency or assigned public information officer. We never discuss your investigation with the media unless you request us to..