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#132890 - 05/14/08 05:06 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: SARbound]
Taurus Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 423
Loc: Ontario

I am not SAR, so I wont speak about things I don't know much about but........

A lot of our training is spiced up by doing it in the worst conditions possible. Consider doing some searches at high altitude, at night through bad terain.(like a swamp) And then giving strict timings to add pressure. My first escape and evasion exercise in high altitude was a big eye opener as I was sucking wind a lot harder than normal. I imagine it may have the same effect on anyone doing a search.

I don't know how it works for you but sometimes the Army and SAR have joint exercises where we would be dropped off and then told to walk to a certain point to wait while the SAR teams looked for us. They had real footprints to follow etc and real people to find. In the end, both organizations got something out of it and I personally would volunteer again in a heartbeat if ever the opportunity came up.

Call some of the Reserve units in your area and try to get something going. You may be surprised at what can happen when people take the time to try.

If you ever train in Edmonton let me know. I will be more than happy to get lost in the woods for you guys to find me. All I need is a bottle of scotch, a rifle, and knife and I will be set for at least a week. grin

#132897 - 05/14/08 06:30 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: Taurus]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Too bad you couldn't simulate searching in the snow/rain/fog.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#132906 - 05/14/08 06:46 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: Mike_H]
MoBOB Offline

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1217
Loc: here
Taurus has a good idea. Find out which weekend the Reservists are doing their thing. Many times they are looking for something different to do on the weekend. Could be a real gas.
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

#132922 - 05/14/08 10:16 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: unimogbert]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Send them out with radios or flashlights that have almost dead batteries, as this is the way it usually works. If it was a rainy when you send them out all the better.

Have the person that they are looking for hide, I have a book on outdoor survival by Wayne Fears and he has been involved in lots of S&R operations and he says in the book itís common for kids to hide from searchers. It seems they are afraid of getting in trouble, so they hide.

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#132926 - 05/14/08 11:16 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: SARbound]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Hi SARbound,

You could have some fun with one of these to find out how reliant your SAR team members are with GPS (switch on in the middle of the exercise) so that they would have to fall back on compass work i.e. resection work etc.



#132929 - 05/15/08 12:32 AM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
SARbound Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 503
Loc: Quebec City, Canada
Rain is expected for the WHOLE weekend... haha... that might make things very interesting (for me at the ICP, of course, lol)

"The only easy day was yesterday."

#132946 - 05/15/08 03:16 AM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: SARbound]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
IMHO one of the aspects of search and rescue that doesn't get covered is the fact that things go wrong. Rescuers often become victims and need rescueing themselves. Even as the larger rescue has to go on.

To simulate this you might have every team connected by radio. Asign each person and resource a number. Every hour or two, at regular intervals, you roll dice for each person. If it comes up snake-eyes they have a problem you roll for.

Total of two six-sided dice:
2 - Both femurs broken. The team has to immobilize the legs and rig traction

3 - One leg broken. Immobilize.

4 - person is blind in both eyes. Bandage appropriately, document, arrange for a guide.

5,6 - Sprained ankle

Well... you get the idea.

If the roll says they are incapacitated and they are in a swamp or ravine when the call comes in they will need to be handled as if they were really injured. The command will likely need to keep a couple of crews and vehicles in reserve to to rescue the rescuers.

This also applies to vehicles. A roll of two or three means the vehicle is disabled. Four or five and it is incapacitated for an hour. Alternatively you could simply have them incapacitated and then roll to be repaired. Roll a six and they are up again.

The teams have to treat their own injured, transport them to a road and, if possible, continue to search their assigned area.

This tests the command structure as teams have to leave members behind to take care of disabled members and teams have to drop out, leaving jobs undone. Vehicles 'fail' at inopportune times and transport becomes an issue.

You should think about eliminating the use of GPS systems. For a real emergency the teams could have a unit sealed in a box and bring it out only if not using it would cause a real danger.

The idea here is to get used to the idea that things go wrong. But even as things go wrong the command structure has to keep functioning. This sort of exercise also gives a lot of simulated first-aid experience using what they have in their kits in varied field conditions as a simple grid search becomes a struggle to treat, transport, and take up the slack caused by the loss of multiple team members.

This can be done small-scale with just a half-dozen people and a search area the size of a large back yard with an exercise lasting just an hour. Or hundreds of people, square miles and several days. I would advise anyone start small and work up.

Smaller scale exercises can be hilarious with very high casualty rates. Jimmy to base ... I see the victim ... base to Jimmy I'm sorry but your right leg just broke. Nancy and Tom then spend ten minutes following protocols and splinting his leg. But half way through Nancy goes blind. It is a hoot when the rescue crews get everyone back to base with everyone more heavily bandaged than the original victim, who is often played by a dummy. Often crawling and dragging many of their number across the line.

#133003 - 05/15/08 05:55 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: SARbound]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
A extra unknown missing person. Say have some female clothing in the pack of the known missing person if it is a male, or vice versa. See if anyone picks up on it and reports/looks for an additional missing person (who is not too far away, but not easily found).
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#133004 - 05/15/08 06:10 PM Re: Ideas to spice up a search and rescue simulation [Re: Stu]

If you were going to simulate an evidence search, the authorities these days like to withhold information in case of media leaks. Instead of telling the SAR people to look for a gun or a knife or a body part...they'll just tell everybody to start looking or something generic like just 'a weapon' or 'clothing'. You could do the same then leave multiple 'weapons' (or whatever) in the area and see how they deal with each one...or if they ignore something important because it's not obviously a weapon (like a bat or a tire iron or something).

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