National SAR Search and Rescue School Graduates 7 from Great Lakes Region

SAR Training draws multi-agency participation
CAP News Online
June 2008

Great Lakes Region – Seven members from Civil Air Patrol's Great Lakes Region together with eight other Search and Rescue (SAR) professionals who came from as far away as Anchorage to New Orleans recently completed the National Search and Rescue School. This five day Inland Search and Rescue Planning course is a comprehensive, "graduate level" course aimed at those with experience in operational SAR and working in or transitioning into advanced Incident Command System management and planning. It focuses on applying scientifically valid search theory to Search and Rescue operations. The class was held at the Red Cross of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The course is directed toward SAR leaders in federal, state, and local emergency services and law enforcement, as well as Civil Air Patrol, international, and volunteer Search and Rescue agencies -- those few people who are responsible for the planning and overall conduct of inland search missions. The target audience includes on-scene incident commanders and their planners, operations leaders, and up-channel reporting chain. Classes were conducted by Eric Steward, Lt Col, USAF and Jennifer Lyons, TSgt, USAF of the USAF National SAR School.

Aiming to "find the objective fast," the course centers on tools to help SAR decision makers determine where to search, how to divide an area between limited search resources, and how to craft the overall search effort to gain the best increases in likelihood of success at each step. The tools are mathematically based and not for the faint of heart; they help quantify the uncertainties of the search problem to allow consistent application throughout a mission.

After three days of lecture and discussion, class members were divided into teams to participate in a laboratory with the goal of applying and correlating the instruction they received. They were presented with the challenge of locating an overdue aircraft and crew by applying provided clues, as in an actual mission.

The two day table top exercise included a myriad of challenges, e.g. multiple operational periods, multiple agencies and jurisdictions, and deteriorating weather conditions.

The Graduates of the class of May 23rd 2008 are:
• Alaska Air National Guard – Captain Andrew Williams
• Baraga County Emergency Management– Michael Jensen
• Civil Air Patrol, Illinois Wing – Capt Mordechai Levin (Executive Director - Masterflight Foundation), Capt Douglas Penovich
• Civil Air Patrol, Michigan Wing – Maj Jonathan Reid, Maj Randolph Rice
• Civil Air Patrol, Ohio Wing – Lt Col Richard Neuwirth, Lt Col Wayne Shanks, Lt Col Theodore Stults II
• Kent County Search and Rescue – Julie Vruggink
• Montcalm County Emergency Services – Gerald Payne
• Muskegon County Citizen Corps – Terry Zahniser
• Tri-State Search and Rescue – David Benken
• U. S. Coast Guard – Major Robert Perkins
• Will County Emergency Management – Edward Marzano

In recognition of having satisfactorily completed the prescribed course of instruction, the members of the graduating class are authorized to wear the National Search and Rescue School Graduate Emblem. They are indeed members of a select group of outstanding professionals in the humanitarian endeavor of saving lives, and are Always Ready, That Others May Live.

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