It takes a great deal of coordination and manpower to operate an effective Emergency Services Team. Though there is a lot of focus on the front-line services (Ground Pounders, K9 teams, and Investigators), it takes an enormous amount of support behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.
Some aspects of support can be handled by General Volunteers – keeping food and water supplies available to searchers in the field, fielding phone calls or entering information into a computer at the EOC, etc. But there are more specialized tasks that our SAR Support Team handles while we’re in the field for training or for a live search and this team is critical to the success of the entire team.
Communications Trailer Group
This group is responsible for maintaining and transporting the communications trailer to searches, trainings, or public events. Our communications trailer provides advanced communication capabilities (higher power radios, antenna masts, and a generator), mobile Internet and laptop computer capabilities, and a warm and dry place to work while on scene in the middle of nowhere.
- Amateur & Public Service VHF/UHF
- Color Copier/Printer/Scanner
- D-Star Digital VHF/UHF
- Large Whiteboard
- Portable Generator
This group is responsible for providing canteen services during an event. The team may coordinate with other groups such as the Salvation Army, or they may simply coordinate with persons in the neighborhood who have available supplies.
- Rest & Rehab
Mapping & GPS Services
With several teams out in the wilderness or driving around roads and neighborhoods, it’s essential that our Planning and Operations teams are aware of where our team members have been and where they are currently. We rely on our GPS experts to be able to capture real-time locations, trails and waypoints from GPSr devices and put them onto maps being used in Planning. We also make use of cell phones and other devices which can provide real-time location of our team members while in the field.
- General use, programming, and configuration of GPSr devices
- Ability to upload and download maps, trails, waypoints, and other data to/from GPSr devices
- Ability to utilize mapping software such as SarTopo, Google Maps, and other useful map data as part of an active training or search
- Ability to coordinate APRS data into mapping software
- Ability to coordinate cell phone location data into mapping software
- Ability to create custom maps, regions (as polygons), and points of interest