Bits and Bites
SARDAA members and dogs participated in the following public information events this year
- April 26 - Strathcona County Emergency Services Day in Sherwood Park
- May 9 - Get Ready in the Park organized by the City of Edmonton
- June 7 - St Albert Public Safety Open House
- Mary Ann Warren and Michelle Limoges attended Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association conference outside Caroline, AB on Aug 7/15 where they made a presentation about SARDAA plus a demo
- SARDAA members participated in Cabela’s Annual November Hometown Heroes Event with our display and demonstrations
- A new SARDAA Social Media Policy was passed at the August 2015 meeting.
- The Lost Person Behavior mobile app was released this spring and is available to download (for a fee) from Apple iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.com.
- SARScene 2016 will take place in Edmonton. The dates and location are yet to be determined, pending information from the National SAR Secretariat.
- Cathy Rhind accepted the position of SARDAA’s rep at SAR Alberta.
- SARDAA obtained a provincial training grant in 2015 to train members in Swift Water Recue (SRT-1) and in Swift Water Boat Safety, Wilderness First Aid and Lost Person Behavior (LPB).
- Maryann Warren has a new puppy called Twang. Training in HRD, Twang comes from Tennessee and is a combination of Dutch Shepherd and Malinois.
Welcome new members
- Barbi from Rocky Mountain House with GSD Galaxy
- Delilah from Edmonton as Field Tech
- Mike from Edmonton with GSD Blitz
- David and Che passed EPS evaluation and are now fully Active members (Nov 9, 2015)
- Lisa and Zero to Associate level
- Maryann Warren and Gotta; Mike Arychuk and Jaida – passed internal water search test in the summer
- Pete and Islay to Associate (HR)
Thank you to
- Our sincere thanks to the following persons for taking the time to act as hiders for our evaluations with EPS SAR Managers – Ingrid, Stephen, Judith and Sherry.
- Ponoka Fire for their annual donation.
- Montfort Heights Condominium Association, Red Deer in memory of Norman Jacobs.
- In a joint letter from Ms. Géraldine Underdown, Executive Director of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS), and Ms. Lori MacDonald, Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Programs at Public Safety Canada (PS), announced that the National SAR Secretariat is transferred to Public Service Canada from the Department of National Defence. We were assured that they will continue with business as usual with respect to NSS activities such as SARscene, SAR NIF, National SAR Program, National SAR Program Awards of Excellence, etc.
Probability of Detection
Anita, Mark and Kerrie – In response to queries on this subject and as an aid to SARDAA searchers
Probability of Detection (POD) is the probability or chance, expressed as a percentage, that a clue or subject would have been detected, if it were in the search segment.
The POD is used by search managers to:
- Decide whether to re-search a segment
- Decide whether to expand the total search area
- Decide whether to use additional or different resources
- Defend search actions to higher authorities
The estimated POD value will be affected by a variety of factors such as the size of a segment, terrain, weather condition, lighting, what is being searched and so forth. If the clue or subject is found, the POD is N/A. A more extensive list is found in the Personnel Handbook under "Write a Search Report". The POD is subjective and often requires a searcher's gut feeling.
If any factors change during the search of a segment, such as weather or varying terrain, take this into consideration when estimating the POD. In the description of the search report, be sure to note the significant factors that affected your estimation.
SARScene 2016 is in Edmonton, Alberta
SARScene 2015 by Michelle L. Limoges, Operations Section Chief SARScene 2016 Planning Committee
The National SAR Secretariat (NSS) is a federal body that oversees search and rescue in Canada. Among other things, they provide NIF (New Initiative Fund) grants to search groups across Canada and they sponsor the annual national SAR conference called SARScene.
SARScene in 2015 was in Charlottetown, PEI October 21 – 26, cosponsored by PEISAR.
As a result of an off-hand comment I made last year about volunteering to assist should the conference come to Alberta, I find myself on the planning committee for SARScene 2016. As such, I was invited to attend SARScene this year with most of the rest of the planning committee. The Office of the Fire Commissioner paid for the trip.
The first two days consisted of meetings with the NSS officer and her staff, and with Lori MacDonald, Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Programs at Public Safety Canada (responsible for NSS) interspersed with sight-seeing in Charlottetown. On Saturday I attended the Lost Person Behaviour session presented by the guru himself, Bob Koester. SARDAA will be experiencing this course early in 2016 presented by our own Anita Schmidt. Saturday was also the ‘Field Training Day’ but since I was tied up studying lost persons, I did not attend the field day. There were no SAR dogs involved. Indeed, there was nothing on SAR dogs save the presentation on the proposed National SAR dog standard, which I will describe shortly.
Saturday evening featured the trade show followed up by a traditional ‘PEI Kitchen Party’ at the local fire hall. Several of our group were ‘shucked and shined’, and I have photographs for sale. Raw oysters and moonshine do nothing for me, so I was not involved except as a bystander.
Sunday and Monday were reserved for scheduled presentations. I attended a session called ‘Search Theory and Survivor Motion’ which was not what we thought; it was a description of rescues at sea and though interesting wasn’t relevant to boat work in Alberta. I did, however, come away with a healthy appreciation of why we need to wear PFDs, especially on cold water. This presentation was followed up by a very entertaining seminar on ticks by tick researcher Vet Lloyd, PhD, from Mt Allison University. So far, our Alberta varieties of ticks are nowhere near as deadly with Lyme Disease as those in other parts of Canada. Nasty critters!
Monday’s sessions began with a presentation about the proposed National SAR Dog Standards… no there are no standards drawn up as yet but the fledgling committee is trying to get some momentum going. The session was well attended actually so the interest is there. Likely Canadian Standards Association (CSA) will be involved which I think might ensure the process is inclusive; i.e. that it involves volunteer
SAR dog handlers. Later in the day I attended a session on PTSD and critical stress debriefings, and then searchers experiences while looking for dementia patients. Dr. Gordon Giesbech who is affectionately known as Dr Popsicle presented the last session I took in. This session actually complimented information learned in the very first session on cold-water rescue. Dr. Giesbech described the clinical aspects of immersion in cold water with video of a person jumping into cold water and what happened to her in the couple of minutes before she got to show (this was a well planned out experiment; she was fine!). Lessons – wear your PFD; and, if you fall in cold water, try not to panic, after one minute of gasping, you will not be able to swim but you will not die of hypothermia until an hour or so later. And, people who fall into cold water do not typically die of hypothermia; typically they drown way before succumbing to hypothermia especially if they are not wearing a PFD!
So the objective of the trip was to come home with insights into how we will run next year’s SARScene and I believe we got those and we also thought of many things we will do to make next year’s SARScene memorable. If you have any ideas for sessions or events, please let me know soon so we can consider them during the planning process.
Summary of the SAR Alberta North Central Regional Committee Meeting
September 15, 2015
Training needs for our region was the major focus of this conference call as the Grants for the 2016 year are due on September 30. Each group in our region talked about the course(s) they would like to host in 2016. We discussed how many of their members required the training and if they had additional openings was there support from the region’s groups to participate in the training.
SARDAA is interested in putting on Wilderness First Aid and Track Aware courses in 2016. Our training priority is the Wilderness First Aid Course as it also extends our Standard First Aid Certifications. We have a number of members’ certificates expiring in June 2016 and the remaining by February 2017. Parkland and Brazeau SAR are also interested in hosting this course in 2016. All of our groups have enough membership to fill these courses.
We only have 6 members needing the Track Aware course but there was significant interest from Hinton, Edmonton Regional and Parkland SAR Teams to fill a class of 18. Brazeau SAR is also interested in hosting Track Aware and Sign Cutting courses but their own membership are likely to fill both courses.
Edmonton Regional would like to host a Team Leader course and has openings for other teams to participate. All teams in the region had members that would be interested in attending this course.
Hinton was interested in hosting an Avalanche Rescue Skill course in January 2016 and there will be room for additional members from the region. They also expressed an interest in hosting either a Swift Water Rescue or an Ice Rescue course in 2016. Both these would be open to the region should they be running.
All grant applications were to be in sent to the North Central Regional Director by September 25, 2015. Once reviewed the Director will send an approval letter to be submitted along with your grant application to the Office of the Fire Commission.
Next meeting date was Tuesday, October 17, 2016 at 19:00 hrs. If you have any questions or topics you wish discussed at a regional meeting don’t hesitate to contact either myself or one of the executive via email or at training.
Cathy Rhind, SARDAA Dog Handler, SARDAA’s North Central Regional Committee Representative
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