Wide Area Search UMass Amherst - June 6-8, 2017

Over three days, June 6-8, 2017, the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency hosted a Wide Area Search training at UMass Amherst Police Department . The training was taught by Texas A&M Extension Services (TEEX).

Participants were instructed in practical search methods and skills so they could manage systematic searches over a large affected area. The training included challenging exercises that mirrored real life scenarios. The three-day long event concludes with an in-depth exercise that requires participants to utilize the skills gained during the course. The trainers delivering the course were knowledgeable, experienced emergency responders who have actively utilized wide area search techniques during some of the nation’s largest and most challenging operations, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Gustav and Rita, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery operation, and many other incidents that required these same comprehensive strategies. Topics covered during the class included:

  • Search Strategies & Skills
  • Search Management & Planning
  • Communication
  • Mapping
  • Team Management

Members of Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue, Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, Amherst Fire Department, Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team, UMPD, and representatives from other fire and law enforcement in western Massachusetts attended the class.


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