Chapter 1: Overview of Land Search and Rescue





PowerPoint Slides, Chapter 1


Teaching Points






A. History of SAR

1.      Contemporary SAR systems provide the response for overdue, lost, injured, or stranded people in many environments.

2.      SAR personnel are just as likely to encounter an urban wilderness as they are a natural one.  Wilderness is defined as an uninhabited region devoid of any synthetic (manmade) amenities. (p. 1)


B. SAR Education

1.      Fundamental search and rescue skills can be grouped into three categories:  search, rescue, and survival/support.  Basic SAR skills (the fundamentals) are an intersection of these three categories. (p. 2)


C. Tools for SAR (p. 2)

1.      SAR education is a “tool” acquisition process.  Specific knowledge and skills are tools to the rescuer, as are hammer and nails to the carpenter.  Every student or practitioner of SAR should acquire as many “tools” as possible.  Specialization may be necessary, but not to the exclusion of a broad base of knowledge and skill.


D. National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) (p. 3)

1.      Since 1972, NASAR has provided formal training opportunities for topics ranging from the most rudimentary SAR skills through sophisticated incident management.


2.      In 1991, NASAR unveiled its international certification criteria for search and rescue personnel.  These criteria are referred to as SAR TECHÔ III, SAR TECHÔ II, SAR TECHÔ I/Crewleader III and were developed to evaluate three levels of search responder so that a measurable level of individual capability could be available to Incident Commanders.


3.      NASAR participates in international standards-setting processes such as those of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International.


E. USA Freedom Corps (p. 4)

1.      Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush called on every American to dedicate at least two years over the course of their lives to the service of others.  He created USA Freedom Corps to help answer this call.  It is a Coordinating Council dedicated to strengthening the culture of community service.  It is housed at the White House and chaired by the President of the United States. 


F. Citizen Corps (p. 4)

1.      Citizen Corps, a vital component of USA Freedom Corps, was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make American communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation.  In June 2004, NASAR signed a formal agreement with Citizen Corps to increase awareness of search and rescue as a critical component in homeland security and to encourage all Americans, particularly our youth, to participate in search and rescue as a means of supporting their local communities and demonstrating good citizenship.


G. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (p. 5)

1.      The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department in 1985.  This program, nationally implemented in 1993, furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster.  It also increases their ability to safely help themselves.