Preparing for Search and Rescue Operations
Preparedness is the key for a successful search and rescue (SAR) operation. SAR missions are generally a fight against time, since time is closely associated with the victim(s) survival. Being prepared well before an incident or disaster happens can be crucial for the operations success.
Disasters and crisis occur with a greater frequency and a wider spread than ever before. Global crisis such as COVID-19, climate change, urbanization, population growth and conflict are creating fragility to all regions. Natural disasters, environmental emergencies, public health crisis, unrest, terrorism, mass displacement and migration are the consequences that first responders need to be prepared for.
Though the nature of these crisis may vary, here are some common methods to being prepared and ready for a call out regardless of the disaster.
Support Continuous Training
Training is fairly obvious, however extremely important. Training should be continuous and diverse, because being prepared for an emergency requires knowing what to do in various situations. What kind of training is required, depends on the specialization, however some training such as first aid & CPR, basic search & rescue training, land navigation skills or HazMat training are essential for all SAR -situations. Especially with skills, such as CPR that have changing procedures, need to be re-trained and skills updated on a regular basis.
Stay Familiar with Your Operating Area
Always have updated information of travel routes, landing zones, waterways, and road access within the area. Familiarize yourself and your team of all tracks and walkways, routes, roads or rivers in the area, and travel through them when possible. Knowing an area firsthand will make moving around and recognizing the best access points faster.
Acquire Sustainable Rescue Technology and Equipment
Investing in sustainable rescue technology and equipment is highly important for the preparedness of SAR missions. Having proper rescue, medical, technical and communications equipment that is rapidly deployable will be of great assistance.
The role of technology is highly important during missions when human senses are not enough, such as confined spaces or explosive environments. When human or canine entry is not possible, cameras and sensors are mandatory for situational awareness. The equipment you acquire should be versatile enough to work during multiple situations.
For example, SAVOX Disaster Deployment Kit (https://savox.com/systems/disaster-deployment-kit) is designed as an all-in-one case for rapid location operations. The kit contains both seismic/acoustic detection equipment and multi-functional search camera that are stored together in one easily maneuverable case that’s always ready for deployment.
Create Response Guidelines and Maintenance Plan
Response guidelines provides guidance and an action plan in case of a disaster and eliminates the need to formulate list of requirements in the middle of the situation. A guideline that is easy to follow can help calm the situation and as a result advance the operation on a quicker pace.
Setting a maintenance plan and following it should be a high priority in ensuring that all your resources and equipment are ready to go if disaster strikes. A maintenance plan should consist a list of all available resources from personnel to rechargeable batteries. It should also be updated every time a new resource or contact is acquired. The purpose of a maintenance plan is to make sure that everything is in place and ready in case of a quick departure.
Tasks resulting from man-made or natural disasters require a set of professionals from various groups such as hazardous materials, new technologies or wild land fires. As the threats become more versatile so should preparedness, preparation and response and recovery to those threats.
At Savox we create products and solutions with the intent to save and protect the lives of the people helping others. Learn more about SAVOX Search and Rescue Equipment and Solutions.