Mission Statement by fjwuxn


									   The El Dorado County
      Sheriff’s Office
  Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual
         September 2004
                                       Mission Statement
We, the members of the El Dorado County Sheriff‘s Search and Rescue,
 in our mission to save lives and reduce human suffering, will give the
  public the most effective personnel and resource response to search,
                    rescue, and disaster emergencies.

The purpose of this manual is to give members a complete reference and
policy manual so they fully understand the expectations, standards, and
policies of the Sheriff's Search and Rescue. It also lists the training
standards and gives members practical information and tips about
preparation, equipment, and the searches themselves.

Topic                                                                                                                       Page
Mission Statement...................................................................................................... I
Introduction ................................................................................................................ I
Contents ..................................................................................................................... I
New Member Orientation ..........................................................................................1
The Search..................................................................................................................5
Uniforms and Equipment ........................................................................................ 17
Field Training.......................................................................................................... 20
Appendices .............................................................................................................. 22
  APPENDIX A: Training Courses and Standards ...................................................................... 22
  APPENDIX B: Individual Unit Descriptions, Equipment Requirements, and Specialized
  Training Requirements .............................................................................................................. 25
  APPENDIX C: Optional Equipment ......................................................................................... 32
  APPENDIX D: Suppliers of Equipment.................................................................................... 35
  APPENDIX E: SAR Terms and Acronyms ............................................................................... 36
  APPENDIX F: Telephone Numbers and Radio Frequencies .................................................... 37
  APPENDIX G: Training Completion Form .............................................................................. 38
Field Training Manual

                           New Member Orientation
                                  History of Search and Rescue
                                                         The El Dorado County Sheriff‘s Department, California‘s
    History of Search and Rescue                         oldest, was created in 1850 to bring law and order to the
  SAR and Sheriff‘s Office Structure                     mining camps at the height of the California Gold Rush.
                                                         Starting with a sheriff and three deputies, the department
   The Incident Command System                           has grown to over three hundred uniformed peace officers
                (ICS)                                    and support personnel. Its mission has evolved and
                                                         broadened over the years to include far more than
      ―Good Samaritan‖ Laws                              traditional law enforcement functions and the El Dorado
        General Information                              County Sheriff‘s Department is now one of the most
                                                         versatile law enforcement agencies in California.

The first organized search and rescue operation in this area was the Donner Rescue in 1847. Several dozen of the
few hundred residents of this area raced desperately to reach the stranded Donner Party caught by winter on near
the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Short years later, the rescue exploits of Snowshoe Thompson in El
Dorado County became national legend. In the 150 years since the Donner rescue, uniformed and volunteer search
and rescue teams in El Dorado County have unhesitatingly risked their lives and safety in more than a thousand
rescue missions, resulting in the saving of hundreds of lives and the alleviation of immeasurable human physical
and emotional suffering.

Search and Rescue operations in California are under the jurisdiction of the different counties sheriff‘s offices.
Even on land owned or operated by other government jurisdictions, the Sheriff is responsible for all search and
rescue operations. In 1984 the Sheriff‘s Department created a organization comprised of civilian volunteers under
the leadership of Sheriff‘s Department personnel. The Sheriff‘s Search and Rescue is partially funded by the
department budget provided by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, and donations from local groups to the
El Dorado Search and Rescue Council (ESARC).

The Sheriff‘s Search and Rescue Team has roughly two hundred civilian volunteers who specialize in ground
searches, search management, cliff rescue, whitewater rescue, four-wheel drive missions, horseback searches, and
air searches. Many search and rescue personnel also maintain emergency medicine qualifications such as
paramedic, emergency medical technician, and first responder. All volunteers must meet rigorous standards and
undergo constant training and re-certification.

                           The Incident Command System (ICS)
The Incident Command System (ICS) was developed as part of the FIRESCOPE program in the 1970‘s by an
interagency working group representing Federal, state, and local fire services in California. After field tests, ICS
was adopted by the fire services in California as the standard all-hazard response system. The ICS has five primary
functions applicable to any emergency:              command, operations, planning/intelligence, logistics, and

As a result of the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, Senate Bill 1841 of January 1, 1993 (Section 8607 of the Government
Code) improved the coordination of state and local emergency response in California. It directed the Governor‘s
Office of Emergency Services (OES), in coordination with other state agencies and interested local emergency

Page 1  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual

management agencies, to establish by regulation the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). The
SEMS regulation took effect in September 1994 and require the use of the ICS system at the field response level.

The Field Response Level is the level where emergency response personnel and resources carry out tactical
decisions and activities under the command of an appropriate authority in direct response to an incident or threat.

During a search, the deputy in charge, usually a search and rescue coordinator will act as the Incident Commander.

                                    The Good Samaritan Laws
Several California laws protect Search and Rescue volunteers when performing duties for the Sheriff's Department:

The Good Samaritan Act (California H&S 1799.102)
   No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an
   emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission.

The California Government Code 50086
   No person who is summoned by a county sheriff, city police department, fire department, park ranger, or
   other local agency to voluntarily assist in a search and rescue operation who possesses first aid training
   equivalent to the Red Cross and advanced first aid and emergency care training standards, and who in good
   faith renders emergency services to a victim prior to or during the evacuation or extrication of the victim,
   shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts of omissions by such person in rendering such
   emergency services.

                         General Information for SAR Members

Professional and Personal Conduct

When on duty or when identifiable as members of Search and Rescue, volunteers shall conduct themselves
professionally. They must obey all laws and avoid any conduct that brings discredit to the Department. All
members are bound by the Sheriff's Department's standards of conduct and must read and abide by those standards.

Public Appearances and Statements

Volunteers shall not publicly criticize the Sheriff‘s Department or Search and Rescue. Further, members may not
speak before public gatherings or publish material concerning the Department in any written form without prior
approval of the Department.

Volunteers shall respect the confidentiality of all information they receive concerning the internal matters of the
Sheriff‘s Department.

Abuse of Position

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                                                                                 New Member Orientation

Volunteers may not use their official position, their identification card, or uniform for any personal or financial
gain, for privileges not otherwise available, for avoiding the consequences of illegal acts.

Volunteers may not allow themselves to be used for any commercial endorsement without the prior approval of the

Alcohol and Controlled Substances
The El Dorado County Sheriff‘s Office will enforce the zero tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol at all
times. Members may not drink alcohol while on duty or appear for duty under even the slightest influence of
alcohol. This prohibition applies to all training, meetings, or while conducting any administrative functions.
Further, members may not drink alcohol in any Department facility or vehicle.

Use of illegal drugs and controlled substances is forbidden. Members taking prescribed medication on duty must
notify the Sheriff‘s coordinator in charge.

Obeying Orders
Members must obey all orders from those authorized to give them—incident commanders, team leaders, or other
uniformed personnel with situational authority. Members may refuse to obey an order only when obeying the
order places the member or others in excessive hazard of life or limb or obeying the order would cause the member
to commit a criminal act.

Members may not refuse to obey an order because they question its wisdom, reasonableness, or for any other
reason not mentioned in the paragraph above. When given what they feel are conflicting orders, members should
inform the person giving the order and they may try to resolve the situation, but must still obey.

Professional Standards
Members must meet the highest standards of professionalism and are responsible for developing their skills.
Search and Rescue work involves the use of highly specialized skills. Although the Department does not require
prior experience or training, it does expect its volunteers to improve themselves at every opportunity. Members
must not only attend required training, but should actively seek out developmental and educational activities on
their own. The Department encourages members to educate themselves by joining professional societies, reading
literature on Search and Rescue, identifying new skills they can use, and doing everything possible to improve their
professional knowledge and abilities.

Friends and Animals

Personal pets not certified for Search and Rescue work, other unauthorized animals, and friends are not authorized
on searches, training classes or any other department-related activity.. Members who feel that they have grounds
for an exception must contact their coordinator.

Members must have telephones in their residences, or have an alternate way of being reached, e.g. a pager.
Members must keep the department apprised of any changes in their phone numbers, pager numbers, and

                                      El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 3
Field Training Manual

addresses. Members are encouraged to also become adept with other electronic communication forms, such as
email, personal ham radios, and the Department will offer training on additional communications skills.

Carrying Firearms
The Sheriff‘s Office encourages volunteers not to carry firearms. The carrying of concealed firearms is authorized
only when the member has secured the necessary permit and the weapon will be concealed at all times.

Operating Vehicles and Using Equipment

Members must operate vehicles and aircraft prudently and carefully. Members must also maintain the necessary
certification to operate vehicles and aircraft and must report any loss of certification immediately. Members are
required to maintain loss coverage liability insurance on vehicles and aircraft used for Search and Rescue. When
operating Department vehicles, volunteers may only use the emergency signals or sirens when authorized by the
Incident Commander (I/C).

Members shall properly safeguard and carefully use all Department equipment and other property.

Courtesy, Sexual Harassment, and Discrimination

Volunteers shall treat members of the public, other volunteers, and Department personnel with respect and
courtesy. They shall be tactful, patient, and calm while performing their duties and control their tempers and

Members are expressly forbidden from discriminating against or harassing anybody based upon sex, religion, race,
color, national origin, age, and physical or mental handicap.

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Field Training Manual

                                            The Search

                                        How a Callout Works
                                            The search starts when somebody calls 911 to report a missing or
    Callout Procedures                      overdue person. There is no minimum waiting period, and the
    Driving to and From                     Department dispatches a deputy immediately to evaluate the situation.
                                            If the deputy determines that the situation is indeed a Search and
         the Search                         Rescue matter, a SAR coordinator immediately takes charge of the
      Base Camp and
      Command Post                          The coordinator decides what teams are needed, determines how many
                                            people are necessary, and starts the call-out process that reaches the
         Searching                          people needed on the search. Remember that the Department does not
     Time References                        notify all members for all searches. In some cases, the mission
                                            requires only specialty teams like Cliff Rescue or Swiftwater. In other
                                            cases, only limited numbers of searchers are necessary.

SAR members will be paged and will see the number 621-6555*911 with the first seven digits indicating the
hotline number and 911 indicating a search and rescue incident. A pager message that shows 000000 means that
the search has finished or been cancelled and no further response is necessary. A pager message that shows a
phone number (eg. 621-6555 or 621-6569) with a ―411‖, means to call the number for information. Members who
are delayed in responding should call the hotline before they leave home in case the search has been called off or
the details about where to report have changed. Members are encouraged to monitor pertinent radio frequencies
with a scanner while responding to a search.

A search is an emergency so members must be prepared to respond at any hour. Therefore, they should turn off
their answering machines when at home and leave their pagers where they can hear them.

The Department expects members to respond to at least fifty percent of the searches they are called out on.

                                 Driving to and from the Search
Our chances of having a traffic accident rise dramatically on the way to a search. We are in a hurry, on roads we
may not know well, and distracted by the excitement of a search. If it's in the middle of the night, we may not even
be completely awake yet.

Commando driving is dangerous and dumb. The lost person has been out there for hours or days and ten to fifteen
more minutes will not make any difference. If you want to get there more quickly, save time by having your gear
ready and developing efficient methods to get yourself ready and out of the house faster. Once you're on the road,
stay within the speed limit and obey all the traffic laws and conventions. Remember too that wearing a SAR
uniform and going to or from a callout does not make us immune from traffic tickets.

SAR personnel may occasionally have to drive Sheriff's Department vehicles. This is when you should be even
more courteous and cautious--if you offend people, they know where and whom to call. Stay with the flow of
Page 5  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual

traffic, don't speed, and don't tailgate. This is especially important because when you drive a department vehicle, it
is common for motorists to slow suddenly when they see a law enforcement vehicle. Never use any of the
emergency signaling devices--siren or flashing lights--to clear traffic, unless authorized by the Incident
Commander (I/C).

When leaving for an incident in a department vehicle, radio Central Dispatch and tell them what unit and where
you are going.

        You:            Central, SAR 335
        Central:        SAR 335
        You:            10-8, unit 023 (Rescue 3), enroute to Ice House Resort
        Central:        10-4

(10-8 is one of the radio codes used to keep transmission length to a minimum. In this case it means "on duty" or
"ready for assignment")

                        Finding Base Camp or the Command Post
If you're new to the area, the Sheriff's Department strongly encourages you to familiarize yourselves with El
Dorado County. Many of the call-out people will assume a basic familiarity with the county and will give
instructions for finding the command post like: "Ten miles up Ice House Road."

Therefore, you'll need some good maps. Here are some tips:

   Start with a good road map of the county. The Chamber of Commerce has some in their office on Main Street
    in Placerville. The best and most complete is the Compass Map Book available at Placerville News on Main
    Street and other local stores.

   Get a map of the El Dorado National Forest. Go to the visitors' center in Camino, the headquarters on Forni
    Road across the freeway from the Sheriff's Department, or one of the ranger stations and you can pick up one
    of two versions. The free one shows off-road travel, but is hard to read. The $2.50 one shows the dirt road,
    campgrounds, ranger stations, and fire lookouts. Tell them it is for search and rescue and they will assist you
    with getting the correct maps.

   Avoid the USGS or Forest Service topographical maps. They're great once you're out in the field, but they're
    inferior as road maps. They don't show road names and they're outdated and do not show roads and landmarks
    built since the 1970's.

   Familiarize yourself with and be able to find the following roads common to most callouts:

        Iron Mountain Road or Mormon Emigrant Trail - Southern part of the county
        Highway 88 - Through Caples Lake, Silver Lake, Martin Meadows, and Kirkwood
        Grizzly Flat Road - Grizzly Flat, Somerset, Capp's Crossing, Southern part of the county
        Mosquito Road - Mosquito, Swansborough, Finnon Lake
        Highway 193 - Chili Bar, Kelsey, Georgetown, Wentworth Springs Road
        Wentworth Springs Road - Georgetown, Stumpy Meadows, Northwest county
        Wright's Lake Road - Wright's Lake, Desolation Wilderness, Pyramid Peak
        Highway 49 - Coloma, Cool, and south through Amador County

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                                                                                                     The Search

        Ice House Road - Ice House, Big Hill, Union Valley, Loon Lake
        Silver Fork Road - China Flat and Silver Fork campgrounds, Fitch-Rantz bridge
        Sly Park Road - Jenkinson Lake, Sly Park, access to Iron Mountain Road

                                Accommodations in Base Camp
Searchers must be self-sufficient for forty-eight hours (48 hrs). While the Sheriff's Department makes every effort
to provide facilities, it is not always possible or they may not come quickly. Therefore, searchers should come
prepared to camp out for two days.

When making sleeping arrangements, searchers should sleep and eat in one common camping area. Do not erect a
tent or sleep on the ground away from others, as it is common for vehicles to come and go at all times of the day
and night through the woods and off the paved roads near command posts and base camps, and it is possible to be
run over if you're away in the woods on your own. If you plan to sleep in your vehicle, choose a place away from
generators, roads, and lights.

Eating accommodations vary. For short searches, we depend upon what we bring ourselves. For longer searches,
the Sheriff's Department may send in food. However, you should always carry enough food in your pack to carry
you through two days. Veteran searchers usually carry in their vehicles a large container with cans of food and
other items that might be necessary for several days in the field.

Showers in base camp are rare luxuries. Nonetheless, you should be prepared with soap, shampoo, and towels.
Portable toilets are usually available, but you should still be prepared with toilet paper and a trowel.

                                      Out-of-County Searches
Other jurisdictions often call on us for help. The call-out will usually tell you how long we'll expect to be gone,
and if you cannot stay the entire time, you should make your own arrangements for traveling home. We usually
travel in groups in Department vehicles so careful packing is important since space for gear may be limited. You'll
need to bring enough gear for camping out, as inside accommodations are rare. Further, you'll need to be ready for
all types of weather and terrain. You could end up going into the desert or up to 11,000 feet, so make sure that you
have all the required equipment.

Be prepared to be flexible with sleeping and eating arrangements, so make your packing plans accordingly.

                           Professional Conduct During a Search
Obey all orders from those authorized to give them (uniformed personnel and team leaders) - When on a
mission, you are part of a hierarchical structure and decision-making process that can only function smoothly when
members follow instructions promptly and exactly. You may refuse to obey an order only when you can
demonstrate that obeying the order places you in unreasonable danger. If you simply disagree with the order, you
may raise your objections at the time; you may try to persuade, you may suggest alternatives. However, you must
still do as you are told. Then, if you feel the matter was improperly handled, bring it up later through the chain of
command after the search. Refusal to obey orders and defiance of authority are serious enough to usually warrant
dismissal. Obey first, grieve later.

Safety first and safety always - Injuries to search personnel affect the mission. If you become hurt, resources
must be diverted and thinned which may affect our ability to find the lost subject in time. Stay constantly vigilant

                                       El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 7
Field Training Manual

for danger and take no unreasonable risks. Don‘t drive across slopes that you‘re not positive are within the safe
range of your vehicle. Don‘t step anywhere you‘re not certain provides safe footing. Save your bravado for those
rare situations when we must take a calculated risk of injury to save somebody‘s life.

Watch what you say - This is always important but even more so around the command post and over the air.
Always assume that friends and relatives of the subject are within earshot. Treat each radio transmission as though
a third party were listening. Talk seriously and talk professionally. Searches are a life and death matter and you
can cause serious grief and concern by joking, arguing, speculating about the survival of the subject, acting silly, or
doing anything that might make us appear unconcerned, undedicated, or unprofessional.. Avoid especially the
temptation to joke about the very young, the very old, or the disabled.

Say nothing to the media or any outside party without authorization - Part of the incident command system is
strict control of information given to the public and the media. Don‘t argue with the media and don‘t create an
adversary situation; just tell them that you are not authorized to give information and direct them to the Public
Information Officer (PIO) who has been appointed for that search.

No search ends without every searcher accounted for - Never leave a search without formally signing out. We
cannot close a search until every single SAR member has been accounted for and we have been formally released.
If we cannot find a member and he or she has not signed out, we simply cannot assume that he or she went home
and simply forgot to sign out. You may cause your colleagues considerable trouble by negligently leaving without
following proper procedures.

Take care of our equipment - Not only is it expensive to replace, but faulty equipment can kill—especially ropes
and mechanical devices used in cliff and swiftwater work. Never step on a rope or piece of load-bearing webbing.
Don‘t use or play with equipment you don‘t know. When you take or are issued a piece of equipment for a search,
return it to the exact place it is stored immediately after the search is over.

Cooperate, cooperate, and cooperate some more - We are called teams for a reason: Teamwork is crucial to the
success of this organization. You will probably work with and for people whom you may dislike; you will
probably develop unequal friendships and uneven loyalties. However, you must learn to cooperate equally and
cheerfully with all members of all teams regardless of your personal attitudes. Always put professionalism and
cooperation first.

                                           Processing Property
Report all property that has been discovered, gathered, or received in connection with a search to the unit
coordinator, liaison officer, or first available uniformed officer immediately for processing in accordance with
department regulations.

Page 8  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                      The Search

Search and Rescue operations can last several hours to several days in any type of terrain in any type of weather.
Search and Rescue teams work through freezing temperatures and deep snow or tropical temperatures in swarms of
mosquitoes and everything in between. They climb the highest peaks in the Sierras and they trudge through the
red clay of the lower foothills. They travel by boat, raft, plane, ski, jeep, horse, and kayak, but mostly by foot.

Although Search and Rescue teams work throughout the county, most missions take place in the eastern portion of
the county north of Highway 50, usually within a five mile radius of the Desolation Wilderness part of the El
Dorado National Forest at elevations between five thousand and eight thousand feet. The most common lost
person is somebody, often a child, who has become separated from the rest of the party or family while hiking,
camping, or hunting. When the reporting party calls the Sheriff‘s Department, a deputy sheriff will investigate and
then decide whether to initiate a search. A decision-making process will choose the necessary resources and a call-
out procedure will summon the right people to the right place with the right equipment. It is not unusual, though,
for a search to be called off within an hour and it is also not unusual for it to expand into a huge multi-county,
multi-agency effort that draws upon every resource and every man and woman at the disposal of Search and
Rescue. Remember that search and rescue is an emergency. Ask your FTO about the relationship of response time
to the size of the search area.

Additional resources within the ground team include swiftwater and cliff rescue. El Dorado County has some of
the best whitewater rafting rivers in California. From spring through fall of every year fleets of rafts, kayaks, and
inner tubes crash through rapids rated up to the top of the danger scale. They don‘t always make it. Body
recoveries in the rivers are an unfortunately common mission.

Similarly, the county has hills and mountains highly popular with hikers and rock climbers who also end up
becoming the objects of highly technical and dangerous cliff rescues.

The Sheriff also calls on Search and Rescue volunteers during weather disasters and other natural disasters to help
the county‘s Office of Emergency Services (OES) do crucial administrative work in the office or by going out to
the field to perform a variety of missions. Other volunteer based groups. Such as Community Emergency Response
Team (CERT), Noah‘s Wish (Animal Rescue Group), and ARES (Ham Group), may also be called in to assist with
the incident.

                                                Search Basics
You‘ll receive extensive training about search techniques, but it‘s worth giving you a brief overview of how we
conduct our searches and an introduction to some of the terminology and abbreviations. As we mentioned earlier,
what starts the search is a decision-making process that follows the initial report of a lost person to our Sheriff‘s
Office by a citizen, known in police terminology as the Reporting Party (RP).

When the Sheriff needs search units, a call-out procedure notifies as many people as needed to report to a
command post. The Search Management unit, comprised of deputies and volunteers, will have gathered as much
evidence and information as possible about the lost subject while performing a hasty search, they will process that
information through a complicated analytic model and mathematical paradigm (The Matson process) that predicts
the likely behavior of that lost person.

The most significant determinant is the last confirmed location of the subject, known as the Point Last Seen (PLS).
It is crucial to search planning to fix this point as exactly as possible through detailed interviews of the people who
last saw the subject. Historically, about seventy-five percent of all lost subjects are found within a radius of a

                                       El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 9
Field Training Manual

quarter mile to two miles from the PLS. Therefore, ensuring the accuracy of this location may well be the
difference between a successful and unsuccessful search. The Search Management team will plan and direct
detailed routes for search parties and send them out in a carefully organized pattern, maintaining at the same time
extensive documentation about each individual team mission.

A search team normally consists of two to four people. A fully trained searcher is usually designated the team
leader who then chooses a navigator and radio operator. As a trainee, your job will be to watch, listen, and learn.
Never be afraid to ask questions. Assist as directed by your FTO.

While waiting for an assignment, team members should stay together. Take this time to do the following:

   Write down what you've been given so far about the name and description of the subject and all other relevant
    details about the incident.

   Check issued or personal GPS units using the coordinates of the Command Post (CP).

   Pick up your radios from the communications coordinator and check to make sure they're working.

   Assemble the right personal and SAR equipment. Veteran searchers bring more equipment than they need to
    be prepared for different conditions. Take the time now to put together what you'll need on this particular
    search. For example, if the search area will be a considerable distance from the command post, put extra food
    in your pack in anticipation of perhaps spending the night. If the weather report suggests inclement conditions,
    get your rain gear in an accessible place. Always bring extra batteries for your equipment.

Conversely, if the search will be in an urban area or will be a body recovery involving no lengthy hiking or
searching, consider lightening your equipment and carrying only water, gloves, your first aid kit, and your knife.

The Search Management team will give the team leader the assignment as well as a written summary, a map of the
area, and radio frequencies and call signs. If the assignment starts away from the command post, Search
Management will also arrange transportation to the starting point, if you do not self-transport.

The team leader will then brief the rest of the team and pass out any additional paperwork and maps. The team
members will then put on their equipment and the team leader will inspect the equipment and clothing.

When your team leaves, it must check out both in person and by radio so that Search Management knows exactly
when the teams have left and the communications team knows that the radios are working and are correctly tuned.
Similarly, when teams return, they check in by radio and go to the debriefing desk.

Two fundamental principles guide the conduct of a search. First, regardless of the type of terrain, search parties
look for clues, not people. If a search party spots the subject, all the better. However, searchers are concentrating
primarily on traces, signs, and other physical evidence that would point toward the location of the subject. Clues
range from the subtle, like a small area of muddy water in the still portion of a creek where the bottom was recently
disturbed, to the obvious, such as pieces of discarded equipment. Another valuable source of information is
interviewing citizens whom search parties encounter.

The second guiding principle is safety of the searchers. Safety is a vital issue not merely for the obvious reason
that we don‘t wish to see our own people injured but for the less obvious reason that accidents to searchers
jeopardize the mission. If a searcher becomes injured, it stops the individual mission from proceeding and might
even require that vital assets needed to search for the subject be shifted to care for and transport the searcher.
Therefore, searchers must take extreme care in areas of potential hazard. Common safety hazards are steep slopes,

Page 10  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                      The Search

slippery rocks in streams, the hundreds of deep holes and mineshafts left by the forty-niners, crevasses hidden by
level snow, snakes, predatory animals, and weather casualties (heatstroke, frostbite, hypothermia). Although the
dangers on a search are not great to people with moderate outdoors experience, they must nonetheless never be

Search tactics fall into three broad categories. The first is a hasty search in which usually the first five to ten
searchers arriving at the scene are put together into search teams sent out immediately to conduct a quick
inspection of high probability areas—paths, roads, high danger areas where an injured subject may lay, drainages,
and other likely areas. Part of the rationale for the hasty search is to isolate areas that do not contain the subject.
Hasty teams are also used for containment of the subject.

Having eliminated those areas, search management personnel will then organize parties for a more detailed sweep
of the ground, covering remaining likely areas. This second type of search uses teams of two to four searchers (we
never go out on searches alone) under a team leader, the most experienced searcher. These teams will generally
walk in a widely spaced pattern with one member acting as navigator and others at distances several yards to
several hundred yards apart, depending upon terrain and weather. Although the teams have specific areas they
must cover, the search area may be large.

The individual team assignments generally take them three to ten miles over the course of several hours. The team
then reports back to the command post where members are carefully debriefed by Search Management personnel.
Searchers report back on the type of terrain they crossed, signs they might have spotted, and, most important, an
estimate of the likelihood that they would have found the subject had he or she been inside that search area, known
as Probability of Detection (POD) and expressed as a percentage.

The third type of search is an intense grid search within a closed area by one huge search team, usually up to thirty
or forty people. Typically, searchers will walk close together (five to ten yards apart) over the full length and
breadth of their assigned area with their eyes focused on the ground around them. The assigned area will usually
have been carefully marked off with string, tape, or other marking material.

Searches last from several hours to several days and the longer ones can cost significant sums of money. In many
cases, counties in California (and adjoining jurisdictions in Nevada) will ask for help from search and rescue units
in other counties. El Dorado County has received help from and given help to other jurisdictions on many
occasions over the years. Thankfully, though, most subjects are found and any member who has seen the faces of
the family members re-united with lost subjects will experience an emotion not easily described in words.

                                     Working with a Dog Team
Trained search dogs are valuable resources. Their ability to distinguish and follow scents is extraordinary.
However, they need human help to find the right starting points so they do not wear themselves out.

The job of searchers is to anticipate the best places for the dogs to work--where the subject is most likely to go.
The dog handler often leads the team, even though he or she may be from another jurisdiction, he or she knows the
dog's skill and ability.

If you know that a dog will be assigned to a search area, do your best to stay out of the area, so that you do not
contaminate clues. Let the handler do his or her work and do not distract the dog. The handler knows best how
much affection and attention the dog needs to work well. Do not give the dog food, pats, or attention unless the
handler gives you permission.

                                     El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 11
Field Training Manual

                                            Hazards in the Field
As we mentioned in passing earlier, the wilderness is dangerous. The reason that we are probably out there is
because somebody ignored hazards or did not take reasonable precaution. Here are the most common:

The helicopter is one of the most valuable and commonly used resources in Search and Rescue. The agencies that
we rely on the most are the California Highway Patrol, the Navy's Search and Rescue helicopters from the Naval
Air Station in Fallon, and several helicopter ambulance services. Aircraft safety is a required class.

However, helicopters can also be dangerous to people on the ground. Take the following precautions:

   First, complete the aircraft safety training course we offer through the SAR Basic Academy.

   Follow all directions of the helicopter crew.

   Secure all loose items-hats, jackets, gear, etc.

   Wait for the pilot's signal before approaching the aircraft

   Approach from the front or the side only and always stay within the pilot's view. A serious accident resulted
    with a film crew member in El Dorado County approaching a helicopter from the rear and being dreadfully
    injured when the rear rotor blade struck his head.

   Be extremely cautious when the helicopter has landed on an uneven surface and the blades are still turning.
    Although the blades are normally well above head level, standing on the upward slope will raise your head into
    the blade area. A CHP officer was killed when approaching a helicopter from the upward slope.

   Never raise your arms above shoulder level. Again, the blades are normally above head level, but raising your
    arms over your head can put them in their path.

   Do not go to the rear of the passenger doors unless ordered.

   Expect dust and consider wearing goggles or a bandana.

El Dorado County's most famous natural resource has had people digging in its hills and mountains since 1848.
And they did not always tidy up after themselves. The Forty-Niners and their ancestors have left thousands of
mineshafts throughout the county, almost none of which are marked on any map. Some are hundreds of feet deep
with water and gas on the bottom and some are a mere foot or two wide and a foot or two deep, the perfect size for
breaking the leg of somebody who inadvertently steps in it.

We avoid entering mineshafts at all costs. Mine rescue is a tremendously complex and dangerous specialty.
Because of the cost and specialization required, we do not maintain a mine rescue unit and must call on other
agencies for resources. If we suspect a victim may have fallen in one, the Sheriff's Department will call sister
agencies for help.

Page 12  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                        The Search

Be extremely careful when walking, as a mineshaft may turn up anywhere and the opening may not be visible until
you're in it. This is one of the many reasons we never send searchers out alone. Because of mines and other
reasons, always maintain visual contact with everybody in your search team. Do not spread out too far and do not
let a member out of your sight.

If you do find a mineshaft, mark it with flagging tape so that others can spot it even at night. Then try to locate it
on the map and mark it to pass on to others.

Marijuana Farms
The threat from marijuana growers is significant, as at least five percent of the marijuana farms are indeed booby-
trapped and growers' shooting people on site is a possibility. Our encounters with marijuana farms are uncommon
but precautions are still wise.

The most common sign, beside the obvious plants with the five-pronged leaves, is irrigation. Farms are usually
close to a water source, so black or camouflaged PVC pipes running along the ground can be a sign of a nearby
marijuana farm. The other obvious sign is the ever-present camouflage. Growers must go to extra lengths to hide
the crop and the farm from aerial surveillance, so everything around, even gardening implements, may be

The two best protective measures are identification with SAR and immediate withdrawal. First, make sure that you
are easily identifiable as a SAR volunteer. SAR members should avoid wearing clothing favored by military units
and SWAT teams. Wear as much orange as possible and always make noise, calling out the subject's name and
blowing whistles.

Second, if you stumble across a farm, get out quickly without drawing attention to yourself. Meet with the other
members of your team without announcing the reason over the radio. Note the location, leave the hazard area, and
once a safe distance away, call for a Sheriff‘s Office coordinator.

Be extremely careful in October and November. We have many searches for lost hunters or others who have
strayed into hunting territory. Two precautions are important:

   Wear as much blaze orange as possible. A hat is not enough. These are cold weather searches and it is
    tempting to put on heavier darker clothing over the orange shirt. Do not. Either get a blaze orange outer parka
    or poncho or get an orange vest large enough to wear over an outer coat. Outdoor suppliers usually have them
    in the hunting departments.

   Make noise. As with avoiding the danger of marijuana farms make plenty of human and artificial noise around
    hunters. Remember that the forest muffles sounds so make them loud and frequent.

Weather and Environment
Weather in the Sierras can take a person by surprise. The clear sunny summer morning can turn to torrential rain
and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

                                      El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 13
Field Training Manual

The greatest danger is cold. Even with short sleeve weather in Placerville and Sacramento, it can be cold and
snowing in the mountains. Therefore, make sure you bring a variety of clothes with you in your car, so that if the
weather at the search site is different, you can add or remove clothing. Keep these tips in mind:

   Rain gear is a must. Carry it in your car so you'll always have it ready. As a minimum, make sure you have a
    poncho with your pack. Ponchos double as survival gear, but since they do leave your legs exposed, you might
    wish to bring rain pants or long gaiters to use with ponchos.

   Avoid cotton garments in foul weather. Cotton does not keep you warm when you get wet and takes forever
    to dry. Levis, for example, are not a good idea in bad weather because they are completely cotton and since
    they're so thick, they take even longer to dry and can cause severe heat loss to your body.

   The best fabric in cold weather is wool or artificial fibers like polypropylene. Wool still keeps you warm even
    when wet and the newer artificial fibers wick off perspiration to outer garments.

   If the legs and torso are warm, most heat loss occurs from the head and neck. Make sure you have a warm cap
    and a turtleneck or scarf in your gear.

   The best way to wear socks is to start with a thin pair of polyester socks and then put a pair of thick wool or
    artificial fiber socks over them. This wicks away the moisture and also helps prevent blisters because the two
    pairs rub against each other and absorb the friction.

Water is the most important item in your search gear. You can survive for considerable time without food, but not
for long without water. Carry as much as you can. Although the minimum required amount is one quart, wise
searchers carry two and in hot weather three or four.

Take a large drink of water before you leave and after that, keep taking small sips at regular intervals, even if you
do not feel thirsty. Avoid coffee and caffeinated colas, as they dehydrate you because the caffeine is a diuretic.

Water purification tablets or filters are required equipment. Water from streams and lakes is likely to have vicious
bacteria and giardia lamblia, whose cure is worse than the disease. Use stream water only when your canteen is
dry. Another advantage to carrying two or more canteens is that when one empties, you can fill it and put tablets in
it, and then use the other during the time it takes the tablets in the first canteen to do their work.

Some searchers bring sweetened Kool-Aid packets, Gatorade powder, or other similar dry mixes to put in water
that has been purified to mask any taste the tablets leave.

Page 14  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                       The Search

The dangers from animals are not great, but should not be minimized. In this area, the three animals worth worry
about are mountain lions, bears, and rattlesnakes. Beware of rabies, ticks, fleas, and Lymes‘ disease.

   Bears - Grizzlies, or brown bears, are extinct in this area (although they are present in the Northwest, Alaska,
    and Canada). The only bear in this area is the Black Bear, a generally benign creature who has, however, on
    occasion attacked humans. The general rule on dealing with the Brown Bear is that it will usually do the
    opposite of the way it is acting. If it is prancing, pawing, and acting aggressive, it will probably not attack. On
    the other hand, if it is acting shy and coy, you are likely in danger.

   Mountain Lions - Sightings of mountain lions are increasing in the Sierras and the foothills. Indeed, one of our
    most publicized but tragic searches ended when we found the victim deceased and soon realized that she had
    died from an attack by a lion. Lions usually avoid people, but more sightings are being reported.

Mountain lions are ambush predators--they sneak up from behind and attack the victim by the throat to crush the
larynx. The simplest precaution is occasionally checking behind you when you're walking in the woods. If you
encounter one, do not run. It may think you're food. Try to frighten it by trying to make yourself appear to be as
big and as aggressive as possible. Stand as tall as you can and put your arms high over your head and make
gestures as aggressive as you can under the circumstances without challenging the lion.

                                          Bivouacs in the Field
Survival is too dramatic a word. When people talk of survival on a SAR mission, they're really talking about an
unexpected overnight campout--not about living on plants and bugs. "Surviving,‖ means not so much keeping you
alive as allowing you to go on searching the next morning.

Nonetheless, the right equipment and skills are essential. Searchers are required to keep survival gear in their
packs, attend a survival class, and complete an overnight exercise.

Periodically check your pack between searches to make sure that you have your minimum complement of survival
gear to keep you warm, dry, and fed: shelter items, food, fire starting material, and matches. Some searchers
divide their survival gear into two parts and carry lesser amounts when within walking distance of base camp and
larger amounts when a greater distance away.

                                            Time Conversions
For time references, the Sheriff's Department uses a twenty-four hour clock without AM and PM references,
sometimes called military time or railroad time, which is expressed as a four-digit number between 0001 (one
minute past midnight) and 2400 (following midnight), e.g. 0630 hours, 1850 hours. If you haven't used it before, it
takes some time getting used to but it's nonetheless simple.

Time references under 1200 are AM and are the easiest because they are what they look like and converting them is
easy: From military time to ordinary time, 0630 hours means 6:30 AM, 1000 hours means 10:00 AM and so on.
Conversely, from ordinary to military time, 5:30 AM is 0530 hours and 11:21 AM is 1121 hours.

Times over 1200 are PM. To convert military time to ordinary time, simply subtract twelve. Thus, 1700 is 5:00
PM, 2130 is 9:30 PM, and so on. To convert from ordinary time to military time, add twelve. Thus 6:00 PM in
military time becomes 1800 hours, 10:15 PM becomes 2230 hours, and so on.

                                     El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 15
Field Training Manual

Page 16  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
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                            Uniforms and Equipment
                                          Dressing for a Search

                                                           Packs: Searchers must carry every item on the required
         Dressing for a Search                             list on every search. Members, however, use a variety of
     Uniform and Patch Placement                           methods of carrying equipment. Most use backpacks for
                                                           their equipment, although many prefer military web gear
       Preparation for a Call-Out                          for easier accessibility and weight distribution. Sheriff‘s
    Basic Search Pack Requirements                         deputies, team leaders, and Field Training Officers will
                                                           conduct spot checks and inspection of equipment before
                                                           searches to ensure members have all necessary

General Dress: Dressing for a search depends, of course, on the weather. However, much of the dress is constant.
First, all members must wear the blaze orange uniform shirt with the appropriate markings and insignia (see
enclosure). Hats, coats, jackets, windbreakers, gaiters are all optional. However, searchers should, to the
maximum extent feasible, wear outer clothing that is blaze orange. Visibility is crucial; for the benefit of victims,
supporting aircraft, other searchers, you must be visible from considerable distances. Wearing any camouflage or
other dark military clothing (shirts, caps, etc.) is not authorized. It makes it harder for people (don‘t forget hunters
and target shooters) to see you. Remember, in many backwoods areas, not all citizens are enthusiastic about the
presence of law enforcement personnel and government employees. Therefore, it is important that you go to great
lengths to be recognized as a Search and Rescue volunteer and not be mis-identified as a potential threat.

Pants: Because of brambles, nasty brush, and poison oak, you must wear long pants at all times of year regardless
of the heat. Searchers have a variety of preferences. Some wear Levis because of their strength. Others dislike
them because of their weight and composition. The all-cotton material causes them to soak up and retain large
amounts of water, a serious discomfort during and after wading across rivers and streams. For this reason, you
should never wear Levis in winter or snow searches.

Many members prefer lighter materials with blends of fabrics—usually polyester and cotton. Highly popular are
the military field pants (called BDU‘s) made from a lightweight polyester/cotton blend that dries quickly even after
being soaked. Their large cargo pockets on the legs are also ideal for bags of trail mix, water bottles, and other
bulky items. Again, if you buy BDU pants, avoid the camouflage or black colors.

Hats: You don‘t have to wear one, but the hat is important because it protects you from the sun and is often the
most visible clothing item. Wear whatever you wish, but the best bet is the blaze orange polyester baseball sold by
our uniform coordinator. The Day-Glo color is highly visible and the lettering identifies you immediately as a
search and rescue volunteer. Wide-brimmed hats are popular in heavy sun. Remember, though, to stay away from
the olive drab, black, or camouflage patterns.

Footwear: Take care in selecting footwear. Never wear tennis shoes, running shoes, or western boots. Wear only
shoes designed for hiking, hiking boots, or any one of a variety of boots made for military or law enforcement
fieldwork. Your main concerns are comfort, support, weight, and durability. You want footwear that is as light
and comfortable as possible, yet strong enough stand up under rough use. High top or low top is a matter of
personal preference. Many prefer low-cut hiking shoes because of the flexibility, but others prefer the high tops
because of the ankle support. Sometimes, the low-cut shoes can become filled with dirt and rocks when sliding
Page 17  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                  Uniforms and Equipment

down loose hilly terrain, although gaiters can help prevent that. Outdoor catalogues offer a good variety of boots
shoes. Many outdoor stores in this area have a good variety.

Food and Water: Water and food are crucial. After one hour of walking, you must replace water; after two hours,
you need electrolytes; and after three hours, you need food. Therefore, in addition to the required minimum quart
of water, a quart of any commercial sports drink, e.g. Gatorade, Allsport, is a judicious addition to your equipment.
Carry also low-fat snacks like trail mix, fruit bars, or energy bars, e.g. Clif, Powerbar. The time to lose weight is
before a search, not during one. You need the calories for not only physical stamina but to retain mental and
sensory abilities as well.

Snow Clothing: Two words: Cotton kills! The key to warmth and comfort in freezing and snowy conditions is
multiple layers of clothing made from artificial fibers or silk. Where cotton absorbs moisture, the artificial fibers
wick away moisture in varying degrees depending upon the composition. The rule for dressing in cold is that
several thinner layers (which trap insulating pockets of air) are better than one big garment. If you‘re
inexperienced in the outdoors during winter, don‘t feel too embarrassed to ask questions. Most new members,
including uniformed personnel, have little or no experience in extreme winter conditions. The Nordic Ski Patrol,
affiliated with Search and Rescue, has some excellent handouts about winter equipment and clothing that are
available from the team coordinators.

                                  Uniform and Patch Placement
The official uniform is a long sleeve Blaze Orange shirt (available from the uniform coordinator) with the
following insignia:

   El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Patch (available from teams) on left shoulder centered a half-inch below
    the shoulder seam.

   Blue and Yellow El Dorado County Search and Rescue Patch - above left pocket a half inch above.

   Team rockers (swiftwater, cliff, management) - circling the Blue and Yellow Search and Rescue patch

   Name patch - centered a half inch above the right pocket

   Rectangular cloth medical patches (not exceeding three inches) one inch above the name patch on right side

   Other medical patches (First Responder) - centered directly on right pocket

   Team patch (foot, MGT, OHV, mounted) - on right shoulder one half inch below the right shoulder seam

   Other SAR achievement patches - centered on right sleeve a half inch below the team patch)

                                     Preparation for a Call-Out
The key to getting yourself to a search as quickly as possible is getting yourself organized ahead of time. Follow
these tips to keep you ready at all times:

   Keep your gear, including your extra food and clothing for forty-eight hours that we discussed earlier, packed
    and ready to load in your car.

Page 18  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                            Uniforms and Search Packs

   Keep your search clothing together in one place in your house ready to put on.

   Check your clothing and equipment each season to make sure that it's appropriate for the time of year.

   Replace your food before it goes stale.

   Make sure you have full canteens when you leave the house. You can do this by either keeping them full at all
    times (make sure you change the water every few weeks) or filling them before you leave the house. If you
    have to fill them before you leave, make sure you have some fail-safe memory device to remind you because
    nothing could be worse than arriving at the scene of a search without water.

   Check your batteries monthly.

   Always be prepared for bad weather and cold in the mountains no matter what time of year. Summer
    thunderstorms are common in the Sierras as is cold weather at night at high elevations.

   Make sure we can reach you and awaken you at night. You should not use answering machines to screen calls
    if you're with search and rescue. Turn the machine off and keep your pager where it can wake you.

                                         Basic Equipment List
These are the minimum required items for individual members of all teams. Different teams will have
requirements in addition to these below:
                                                      Water purifier (tables or filter)
 Search pack                                         Food for twelve hours
 Compass                                             Range flagging tape
 Signal mirror                                       Note book and pen
 Whistle                                             Knife (Pocket or straight)
 Waterproof matches                                  Insect repellent
 Fire starter                                        Sunscreen
 Flashlight with extra bulb and batteries            Toilet Paper
 50 feet of 1/4 inch rope                            Paper bag for scent items
 Survival blanket                                    Warm cap, gloves, and jacket
 Ground cloth                                        Measuring tape
 Two 12-hour light sticks                            Personal first aid kit
 One quart of drinking water                         Pocket mask and latex gloves

                                    El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 19
Field Training Manual

                                           Field Training
                                   Introduction to Field Training
                                                       The El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Field
     Introduction to Field Training                    Training Program is a standardized program established to
                                                       train new SAR members in the field. You will be allowed in
         Field Training Officer                        the field with a fully trained partner as soon as you have
       Roles and Responsibilities                      completed all the necessary paperwork and you have your
              SAR Classes                              basic requirements. You will also need to have your search
                                                       pack checked for completeness.

The program includes uniform standards of training and evaluating performance. The program's goal is to
acclimate new SAR members to the Sheriff's Department's rules, training, and methods of operation.

The program is designed as a performance-based training program, therefore the length of time it takes to become
fully search ready will vary from member to member. New SAR members will be assigned to different Field
Training Officers.

For the program to successfully train new members, it is important to define roles, responsibilities, and evaluation
criteria for everyone involved:

                 Qualifications of the Field Training Officers (FTO)
SAR members who want to be Field Training Officers must be fully search qualified. Your FTO will be a
seasoned searcher, fully qualified in overall basic and unit standards of search and rescue.

                Responsibilities of the Field Training Officers (FTO)
Responsibilities of the FTO will include, but not be limited to the following:

1.   Evaluating and documenting the trainee's progress
2.   Frequently demonstrating tasks
3.   Describing procedures as they are carried out
4.   Guiding the trainee through the performance of tasks
5.   Evaluating the trainee's performance to increase necessary skills and provide positive feedback
6.   Enhancing the trainee's self-esteem and potential
7.   Remaining sensitive to the trainee's actions, reactions, attitude, and potential confusion
8.   Answering questions thoroughly.

Responsibilities of the new SAR trainee:

1.   Display eagerness and interest in training
2.   Actively participate in training and seek out additional training opportunities
3.   Be prepared to spend hours in the field
4.   Work continually to improve your skills.
Page 20  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                Field Training

5. Maintain records and documentation
6. Demonstrate that you are learning the material taught
7. Ask questions!

                            EDC SAR Basic Academy Training
Before a new member is qualified to begin field training with a Field Training Officer (FTO), the new member
must meet the following requirements:

1.   New Member Orientation Class or Manual
2.   Hold a current CPR card
3.   Hold a current first aid card
4.   Have the equipment checked off
5.   Have the approved uniform
6.   Be assigned to an FTO on their team

Individual units may require additional training before field training. In addition to the above, each member must
complete the following training either in class or with an FTO. When all training is completed, the new member
will be placed on the callout list. Proficiency must be demonstrated every two years by retaking the class or taking
a challenge test for the course.

1.   Man Tracking
2.   Aircraft safety
3.   Wilderness Survival
4.   Search Theory
5.   Land Navigation (map, compass, and GPS)
6.   Radio procedures
7.   Crime Scene Protection

Course objectives and standards for each training class are in Appendix A.

                                    El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 21
Field Training Manual

           APPENDIX A: Training Courses and Standards
1. Explain the difference between tracks, prints, clues, and signs
2. Describe the role of trackers in search theory
3. Explain the following terms: Leapfrogging, containment, shine, scuffing, heel mark, breakage, direction of
    travel, probability of area (POA), probability of detection (POD), point last seen (PLS), point last known
4. Demonstrate how to cut for sign around a PLS
5. Demonstrate how to cut for sign around a roadway
6. Follow a trail for  mile using a tracking stick and the step by step method
7. Demonstrate several methods to mark clues
8. Demonstrate several methods to determine the age of prints and clues
9. Identify clues found in the field
10. Demonstrate how to report clues to the command post
11. Describe methods of interviewing potential witnesses in the field
12. Explain the role of flankers and point people on a tracking team

Aircraft Safety
1. Describe the limitations of Aircraft resources commonly used in the field
2. Explain the roles of helicopters in observation, insertion and extraction of ground teams, protection of ground
   teams, medical evacuation, and equipment transport
3. Demonstrate safety techniques for approaching and loading a helicopter, and entering and exiting a helicopter
4. Explain the dangers of working around a helicopter
5. Demonstrate hand signals for directing helicopters
6. Demonstrate use of safety equipment when working around helicopters
7. Explain how to set up a helicopter helispot both in daylight and night conditions
8. Demonstrate several methods for marking wind direction and speed

Wilderness Survival
1.   Identify two water-purifying methods
2.   Demonstrate water purifying in the field
3.   Explain the criteria for selecting an emergency shelter location
4.   Build an emergency shelter in the dark using items from the pack and the field
5.   Explain fire safety in the field
6.   Prepare a safe fire site
7.   Identify tinder, kindling, and fuel
8.   Demonstrate fire-starting techniques without matches

Page 22  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                        Appendix A

Radio Procedures
1.    Describe the use of plain English when talking on the radio
2.    Explain the sequencing of a radio conversation
3.    Explain identifiers for Sheriff's Department personnel
4.    Explain identifiers for Search and Rescue personnel
5.    Demonstrate channel selection, changing channels, and channel lockout
6.    Complete a radio check when leaving the command post
7.    Demonstrate a radio check
8.    Describe the use of repeaters and relays
9.    Explain the limitations of radios in the field
10.   List procedures if radio communication is lost in the field
11.   Describe how to communicate to the command post that a subject is deceased
12.   Explain the use of multiple frequencies (tactical frequencies)
13.   Complete a simulated assignment using radio procedures

Search Theory
1.    Explain procedures for checking in and out of the command post
2.    List the various phases of a search
3.    Describe what happens during each phase of the search
4.    Describe the Incident Command System and positions in the command post
5.    List several resources used during a search (helicopters, food service, dog teams, mutual aid).
6.    Demonstrate briefing and debriefing a search team assignment.
7.    Explain the terms POD and POA
8.    Explain the use and importance of POD and POA
9.    Describe the Mattson Theory.
10.   Describe the following search techniques: Grid, hasty, tracking, dog, and binary
11.   List the components of a reporting party interview
12.   Demonstrate correct interviewing techniques
13.   Describe special considerations for the subject's family members
14.   Explain the importance of maintaining contact with the reporting party
15.   Explain techniques for handling the press and media
16.   Explain establishing search priority and the Mattson theory
17.   Explain the physical areas of the command post
18.   Describe who is allowed in each area of the command post

Land Navigation
1. Describe the difference between road maps, Thomas Brothers Maps, 7  minute maps, 15 minute maps, and
    wilderness maps
2. Demonstrate the proper use of each map
3. Explain the township and range system down to the 1/6-section level
4. Identify the most commonly used map symbols
5. Demonstrate how to obtain a bearing
6. Demonstrate leapfrogging along a given bearing in daylight
7. Demonstrate leapfrogging along a given bearing at night
8. Describe the difference between true and magnetic north
9. Demonstrate how to convert between true and magnetic north
10. Describe techniques to determine direction without using a compass

                                       El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 23
Field Training Manual

11.   Explain what a back azimuth is and how to obtain one
12.   Explain longitude and latitude
13.   Explain Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
14.   Demonstrate converting latitude/longitude to UTM
15.   Demonstrate how to orient a map
16.   Demonstrate how to obtain a bearing between two points on a map
17.   Demonstrate how to obtain a bearing between two points on a map without orienting the map (protractor
18.   Describe the protractor method and how to use it
19.   Show how to measure distance on a map and in the field
20.   Explain contour lines
21.   Explain how an altimeter can help pinpoint location on a map
22.   Describe the use of K-Tags in the field
23.   Describe the markings found on a section corner in the field and on a map
24.   Demonstrate how to follow a compass course of at least four different bearings and distances
25.   Describe the GPS system and its limitations
26.   Demonstrate the use of a GPS
27.   Demonstrate relaying information back to the command post

Page 24  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
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     APPENDIX B: Individual Unit Descriptions, Equipment
      Requirements, and Specialized Training Requirements

                                              The OHV Unit

Purpose: The four-wheel drive unit provides numerous services to Search and Rescue. Among them are:

1.    Ground transportation of ground searchers to and from assigned areas
2.    Trail scouting and reconnaissance
3.    Transportation and set-up of radio repeater system
4.    Transporting equipment
5.    Evacuation of search subjects
6.    Searching

In addition to four-wheel drive vehicles, the unit also uses snowmobiles, Snow-Cats, and motorcycles during
winter searches.

Vehicle Requirements: a four-wheel drive vehicle with tow hooks on front and back (vehicle must be in
compliance with California Motor Vehicle Regulations.

Equipment Requirements:

In addition to the items listed in the equipment section of this manual, all members must have:

1.    Fifty feet of rope
2.    Fire extinguisher
3.    Tow strap and tree saver
4.    All weather boots
5.    Shovel
6.    Flares
7.    Extra Gas
8.    Extra Oil
9.    Jumper Cables
10.   Tool Kit
11.   Jack (high lift or bottle)

Additional Training Requirements:

1.    Four-wheel drive safety clinic at Prairie City
2.    Winching safety vehicle and equipment readiness class
3.    Basic off-road survival class
4.    Monthly Team Training

Page 25  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual

                                                   Foot Team

Purpose: The ground team is made up of highly trained and skilled foot searchers. The ground team goes out day
and night and in any weather. Searchers may be assigned to cover miles of rough brushy terrain, or they may go to
campsites interviewing campers. Sizes of teams for individual searches range from two to eight, and in no
circumstances do searchers ever go alone. Each team has an assigned radio and a team leader.

Hiking and climbing in high altitudes with a full search pack is physically demanding and all foot searchers must
be in top physical condition. Being prepared for all conditions is vital to the success of the ground team. The
equipment list is extensive, however having the right equipment for the terrain and weather not only helps find lost
subjects, but can save your life.

Membership Requirements: We have no special requirements other than top physical condition and the
willingness to buy what could be a considerable amount of equipment.

Equipment Requirements: In addition to the equipment already mentioned in the equipment section in this
manual, you'll need the following with you in your search pack:

1.   Two large plastic trash bags
2.   Tracking stick
3.   Watch
4.   Earplugs
5.   Spare glasses
6.   Goggles or safety glasses
7.   Bandanna
8.   Personal medication

You must bring the following items with you in your vehicle:

1.   Rain gear
2.   Extra clothing
3.   Sleeping bag
4.   High-powered flashlight with spare batteries and bulb
5.   Light stove
6.   Cooking and eating utensils
7.   Food for 48 hours
8.   Pack, duffel bag, or container large enough to carry all the above items

Training Requirements:

Monthly Team Trainings
Basic SAR courses

Page 26  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                         Appendix B

                                           Search Management

Purpose: The search management team has three prime functions. First, it plans the search by defining the search
area and deciding on tactics and necessary resources. Second, it manages the search by deploying and supervising
resources. Third, it supports the search with logistics, communications, and the command post.

Search management personnel serve in one of several capacities: operations, planning, and logistics. Working
together, these three functions ensure liaison with search units, document search operations, brief personnel,
interview sources of information, maintain the status of situations, debrief teams, maintain communications,
arrange transportation, and keep everybody dry, fed, and safe.

Training Requirements:

Classroom requirements:

1. Basic search theory class
2. Forty-hour search management class (strongly recommended and required for Operations and Planning Chiefs
3. Monthly search management classes covering roles and responsibilities of the search management positions as
   well as the practical aspects of search management.
4. SEMS and ICS training

Field Training Requirements: All members must demonstrate the following skills:

1.   Initiate check in and personnel tracking
2.   Be able to start the hasty phase of a search
3.   Demonstrate ability to document a search
4.   Demonstrate a through briefing and debriefing
5.   Prepare and complete a team assignment
6.   Set up a command post to include radios, antennas, maps, equipment, and administrative requirements.
7.   Set up an initial camp infrastructure to include parking, first aid, kitchens, toilets, camping, and helispot.
8.   Develop a search plan
9.   Recognize and request special resource needs; cliff, swift, air transport, mine

                                       El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 27
Field Training Manual

                                           The Mounted Team

Purpose: The mounted team, formed in 1973, conducts search and rescue missions and other appointed functions.
The chief advantages of horse and rider team of mounted searchers are greater mobility, better vision, higher load-
bearing ability, and increased sensory resources from the animal itself.

Membership Requirements: Members must own a horse or have one available at all times. They must also have
a safe form of horse transport.

Equipment Requirements: In addition to the list in section four, members must have the following:

Maintained in Saddlebags:

1.    Fifteen feet of ½ inch rope
2.    Breakaway rope ties (4)
3.    Signal blanket
4.    Orange flagging tape
5.    Halter and lead rope
6.    Absorbent pads (2)
7.    Vetwrap bandages (3)
8.    Hoof pick
9.    Fence pliers or cutters

Maintained in trailer or vehicle:

1.    Twenty-four hours of food for both horse and rider
2.    Horse blanket or cooler
3.    Ten gallons of water for horses
4.    Insect repellent
5.    Small salt block
6.    Water buckets
7.    Curry comb/brush

Optional items:

1.    Sleeping bag
2.    5/8" rope for high line - 100 feet
3.    Shoeing equipment
4.    Easy boot
5.    1 lb. Grain
6.    1 lb. Oats
7.    Duct tape
8.    Extra latigo
9.    Extra cinch
10.   Heavy jacket

Page 28  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                   Appendix B

Training Requirements:

1. Demonstrate appropriate horse qualifications and meet check off criteria on horse qualification record (record
   available from the mounted unit)
2. Demonstrate appropriate rider qualifications and meet check off criteria on rider qualification record (record
   available from the mounted unit)
3. Monthly Team Trainings

                                    El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 29
Field Training Manual

                                             Swiftwater Team

Purpose: The swiftwater team conducts surface search and rescue operations on the rivers and waterways of El
Dorado County. El Dorado County's rivers have worldwide popularity among rafters, kayakers, and other
recreational water users. Because of this, every season brings accidents, injuries, and fatalities that the swiftwater
team responds to. The team also conducts swiftwater operations in conjunction with other search activity and
supports other search and rescue and county resources. Swiftwater members work purely on the surface and do not
engage in any diving activity, which is the sole province of the Sheriff's Boating Unit and Dive Team.

Membership Requirements: All members must be excellent swimmers in good physical condition. The
Sheriff‘s Office recommends that they be certified Swift Water Rescue Technicians.

Equipment Requirements: In addition to the requirements in section four, members must have the following:

1. Personal Flotation Device
2. Long Wetsuit with gloves and booties
3. Rafting knife or other one-hand accessible knife

Page 30  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                   Appendix B

                                             The Cliff Team
Purpose: The Cliff Team conducts rescues and extractions from locations inaccessible to other SAR resources.
Cliff rescue is a highly technical specialty that requires detailed knowledge of a variety of complicated rescue
systems involving ropes, ascending, and descending equipment.

Equipment Requirements: In addition to the equipment listed in section four, members need the following:

                                    El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 31
Field Training Manual

                      APPENDIX C: Optional Equipment
The equipment list in this manual gives the required equipment you must have to go out on a search. However,
here are some recommended items that many members have found valuable.

   County Road Map - When you‘re called out, you‘ll often be given the location of the command post in
    reference to some county road. Although the people calling you out will try to give you detailed instructions
    about how to get there from where you are, it helps if you can pick up a good road map of El Dorado County.

   USFS Map of El Dorado National Forest - Most of the county is within the El Dorado National Forest. You
    can get free maps at the Forest Service visitors centers and ranger stations. They‘re especially good because
    they show forest service roads and cover virtually all of El Dorado County.

   Small bottle of rubbing alcohol - Use this as disinfectant after you handle casualties because we often don‘t
    have warm water and the right soap for thorough hand cleaning in the field.

   Ten to twelve feet of webbing to carry a litter - When evacuating an injured subject by litter, you can wrap the
    webbing straps around your shoulders to make it easier to carry the litter.

   Leather and wool gloves or mittens

   Headlamp or head holder for flashlight - On night searches, the headlamp keeps your hands free.

   Multiple-Use Pocket Tool - These have pretty much replaced the Swiss Army knives as the all-purpose
    outdoors tool and they all have the same basic design: a folding pliers with a variety of implements within the
    handles that all fold neatly into a roughly five inch shape. They usually have several screwdrivers, a strong
    file, wire cutters, a knife, a small saw, and the pliers. They come in leather or nylon belt cases and are
    indispensable for fixing things and for camp chores. They cost anywhere from $30 to $60, but as with the
    knives, don‘t buy a cheap imitation. Get the good quality ones from Gerber, SOG, Leatherman, or Buck.

   Latex examination gloves - Wearing these disposable skin-fitting gloves is mandatory for medical personnel
    whenever touching casualties. You can buy them in boxes of hundreds and it‘s a good idea to keep a pair in
    your car as well as your search pack. They‘re worth the investment because they‘re also handy around the
    house when working with compounds with potential long term dangers like motor oil and hair coloring. The
    ideal way to store them is in those 35mm plastic film containers.

   Small binoculars or telescope - These are valuable when searching broad open areas. You can dramatically
    increase the probability of detection of a subject by stopping occasionally and carefully viewing more distant
    areas through the glasses. You can find good lightweight compact sets for under thirty dollars.

   Disposable butane lighter - In a survival situation the three most crucial items are heat, shelter, and water.
    Veteran searchers and outdoors people usually carry many fire-starting implements with them at all times. It‘s
    not unusual for a member to carry, in addition to tinder material, wooden waterproof matches, a butane lighter
    (some carry an emergency extra one sewn into their clothing) , and a last-resort sparking device (usually the
    little magnesium blocks with a sparking steel attached). The disposable butane lighters hold up excellently to
    water and the best ones to get are those with the transparent base so you can see how full it is.

Page 32  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                                                        Appendix C

   Ski Poles - No, not for skiing, but for walking in the snow. They‘re excellent to help you maintain your
    balance, push yourself forward, and probe ahead for footing. Don‘t spend a lot of money, because you can
    always find a used pair for two or three dollars at a thrift shop or flea market.

   Sawyer extractor snake and insect bite kit - These great little kits cost between $10 and $13 and consist of a
    powerful little vacuum syringe and several attachments. They work very well for bee stings and are the best
    way of extracting snake venom.

   Spare change for telephones - Stick a few dimes and quarters somewhere in your gear because you never know
    when you may have radio problems but may be near a pay phone.

   Chemical hand warmers - These are small packets that you activate by opening them, shaking them, and
    exposing them to air. They are good not only for warming you, but also for helping subjects whom you find
    during cold weather searches.

   Small strobe light for night searches - You can find these at between $10 and $20. One of the hardest parts of
    searching at night is being able to see the other members of your team. One of these lights attached to you
    makes it much easier for your team members to see you and also increases the chance that a lost subject will
    see you. Always ask your team members, though, if they mind your using one because some people don't like
    looking at them because of their intensity.

   Cheap emergency poncho - You can find these for under two dollars. Buy two. Stick one in your car for
    changing flats in bad weather and put another in your search pack.

   Assorted small items to think about: squares of aluminum foil (for reflectors, emergency cups, finger splint,
    sucking chest wounds), balaclava (face mask for freezing weather), earplugs (for helicopter rides or sleeping
    near noise), triangular bandages, thick rubber bands (all purpose use and an excellent fire starter), fine steel
    wool (for cleaning electrical contacts on batteries and radios and also an excellent fire starter), spare straps (for
    attaching pack to a horse or mule), foil-wrapped moistened towellettes e.g. Wash ‗n Dry

   Hardhat - many members like them because they protect your head from tree branches and falling stones. They
    also support a headlamp nicely.

   Protractor and ruler - for finding direction and distance on a topographic map.

   Road flares - great fire starters

   Zipper-pull compass or wrist compass - You often want to know only a general direction and do not want to
    have to pull out a regular compass.

   Altimeter - Not cheap, but often an excellent way to find yourself on a topographic map. Read the altitude,
    and then just find where the trail crosses that contour line. Altimeter watches are popular in Search and
    Rescue and the all-electronic ones read temperature and barometric pressure too.

   Orange hunter's vest - If you aren't wearing an orange outer garment, these inexpensive items will make you
    extra visible. Many also have pockets for your small items.

   Military pistol belt - These are the two-inch wide belts with grommets for attaching every conceivable device
    you have. By attaching it to the belt, you take the weight out of your pack and make it more accessible. Do
    not buy cheap imitations, as they fall apart. Get the military issue from one of the catalogs in the appendix.

                                        El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 33
Field Training Manual

   Chalk sticks - For marking a campsite, building, or abandoned vehicle to let other teams know you've already
    been there.

   Powdered chalk in a squeeze bottle - for marking tracks. Blue chalk stands out better than red or yellow.

   Gore-tex socks - Wear them over regular socks and your feet stay dry no matter what.

   Flagging tape

Page 34  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual

                   APPENDIX D: Suppliers of Equipment
The following list of catalogs and stores many SAR people shop at. It does not constitute an endorsement by the
El Dorado County Sheriff's Department but is furnished as information from members to other members.

Uniforms and Patches                   Cabela's 812 13th Avenue                CMC Rescue Equipment
                                       Sidney, NE 69160-9555                   P.O. Drawer 6870
Neldine Valles                         (800) 237-4444                          Santa Barbara, CA 93160-6870
EDSO SAR                                                                       (800) 235-8951
At All SAR Mtg                         Patagonia
                                       1609 W. Babcock St                      B&B Enterprises (technical
                                       P.O. Box 8900                           gear)
Sundance Uniforms                      Bozeman, MT 59715-2046                  Box 441-H
4050 Durock Rd.                        (800) 638-6464                          Lewisburg, West Virginia 24091
Shingle Springs                                                                (304) 772-3074
(530) 676-6900                         Shomer-Tec (police and
                                       military)                               Gall's (public safety equipment)
Equipment and Clothing                 Box 28270                               2680 Palumbo Dr
(Catalogs)                             Bellingham, WA 98228                    P.O. Box 54308
                                       (360) 676-5248                          Lexington, KY 40555-4308
Brigade Quartermasters                                                         (800) 477-7766
(Military and outdoor)                 Smokey Mountain Knife Works
1025 Cobb International Blvd           P.O. Box 4430                           Local Retail Stores
Kennesaw, GA 30144-4300                Seviervile, Tennessee 37864
                                       (800) 251-9306                          REI (camping and backpacking)
U.S. Cavalry (military and                                                     Folsom, Ca
outdoor gear)                          L.L. Bean (outdoor)
855 Centennial Ave                     Freeport, Maine 04033-001               Life-Assist (medical supplies)
Radcliff, KY 40160-9000                (800) 221-4221                          11277 Sunrise Park Drive (off
(800) 777-7732                                                                 Sunrise)
                                       PMI (technical gear)                    Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Search Gear                            P.O. Box 803                            (800) 824-6016
882 Bruce Lane                         Lafayette, GA 30728
Chico, CA 95928                        (800) 282-7673

(800) 474-2612

Page 35  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Field Training Manual

               APPENDIX E: SAR Terms and Acronyms
Air 21         CHP fixed wing aircraft from Sacramento
AKA            ―Also Known As‖
BLM            U.S. Bureau of Land Management which manages much of the public land in this area
CARDA          California Rescue Dog Association which certifies dogs and their handlers
CCC            California Conservation Corps
CDF            California Department of Forestry
Central        County Fire, Sheriff, and Placerville Police radio and 911 center in Placerville
CLEMARS        California Law Enforcement Mutual Assistance Radio System (154.920 Mhz)
Comm Van       Communications Vehicle (a large and a small van)
Cut for Sign   Look for clues and tracks
CP             Command Post
CYA            California Youth Authority (operates a SAR team)
Debrief        Post-search questioning to find exactly where teams searched and what they found
DF             Direction Finder - an electronic device that finds ELT‘s (see below)
EDC            El Dorado County
EDNF           El Dorado National Forest
EDSO           El Dorado County Sheriff‘s Office
ELT            Emergency Location Transmitter - an aircraft crash beacon
EOC            Emergency Operations Center - part of the OES office
ESAR           Explorer Search and Rescue - part of the Boy Scouts of America
ETA            Estimated Time of Arrival
ETD            Estimated Time of Departure
Fallon         U.S. Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada has military search and rescue aircraft
FLIR           Forward Looking Infra Red - Helicopter-mounted infra-red (heat) detector
GPS            Global Positional System – Satellite based locating system using hand-held devices
Grid Search    Tight pattern search tactic
H20 & H24      CHP helicopter from Sacramento
ICS            Incident Command System - an ad hoc law enforcement organizational structure
K-Tag          Forest Service survey marker that helps to determine location
Life Flight    Medical helicopter from Sacramento Med Center
MP             Missing Person
Mutual Aid     Assistance to and from other counties for Search and Rescue
NASAR          National Association of Search and Rescue
OES            Office of Emergency Services - El Dorado County function under the Sheriff‘s Office
Overhead       Search Management Team on searches
PLK            Place Last Known - subject‘s last known location
PLS            Place Last Seen - subject‘s last sighting
POA            Probability of Area - ranking of likely search areas
POD            Probability of Detection - estimated percent of detection area a search team covered
POS            Probability of Success - method of assigning priorities to search areas
RP             Reporting Party - law enforcement terminology for the person reporting the incident
SAREX          Search and Rescue Exercise
SARSAT         Search and Rescue Satellite - detects ELT‘s
SO             Sheriff‘s Office (Forest Service uses SO to refer to the Forest Supervisor‘s Office)
SRT            Swift Water Rescue Technician
Topo Map       Topographical Map that shows contours
USFS           U.S. Forest Service
USGS           U.S. Geological Survey
WOOF           Wilderness Outdoors Finders (SAR dog organization)

Page 36  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                      Appendix G

APPENDIX F: Telephone Numbers and Radio Frequencies
                         Important Phone Numbers
       SAR Hotline: 621-6555
       SAR Training Line: 621-6569
       El Dorado County Sheriff (Administrative Calls): 621-5655
       El Dorado County Sheriff (Emergency Calls): 911 or 626-4911
       El Dorado County Office of Emergency Services: 621-5895
       Emergency Operations Center: 621-7440
       Central Dispatch: (non-emergency calls): 621-6600
       El Dorado County Sheriff South Lake Tahoe Division: 573-3000

                       Important Radio Frequencies

       159.555             Sheriff‘s W/S Repeater Frequency 1
       159.690             Sheriff‘s W/S Repeater Frequency 2
       159.600             Sheriff‘s Tahoe-area Repeater
       159.690             Sheriff‘s Tahoe-area Tac Repeater
       160.695             Sheriff‘s ―Tac 3‖ channel (tactical)
       159.825             Sheriff‘s ―Tac 4‖ channel (tactical)
       154.920             CLEMARS 1 (Statewide tactical channel)
       154.935             CLEMARS 2 (Statewide tactical channel)
       146.805             KA6GWY, Local Amateur Radio Frequency
       151.190             County Fire Dispatch Frequency
       154.430             County Fire Command Channel
       171.525             USFS, ENF, Forest
       171.325             USFS, ENF, Admin
       42.540              CHP Station-to-Car
       42.240              CHP Car-to-Station
       162.550             Weather Channel (local)
       156.075             CALCORD (Fire/Police Coordination)

                        El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 37
Field Training Manual

              APPENDIX G: Training Completion Form
Member:___________________________________ SAR ID:_______________

Minimum Requirement (see page 21)             Classroom     FTO          Date
1.   New Member Orientation                   _____ _____   _____ _      _____
2.   Complete Uniform                         __________    ______       _____
3.   Basic Equipment                          __________    ______       _____
4.   CPR Certificate                          __________    ______       _____
5.   Medical Training (First Aid or higher)   __________    ______       _____

Basic Training (see page 21)
1.   Mantracking                                            ______       _____
2.   Aircraft Safety                                        ______       _____
3.   Wilderness Survival                                    ______       _____
4.   Radio Procedures                                       ______       _____
5.   Search theory                                          ______       _____
6.   Land Navigation                                        ______       _____
7.   Crime Scene Protection                                 ______       _____
                                                            ______       _____
Other Specialized or unit training

Four-Wheel Drive                                            ______       _____
Mounted                                                     ______       _____
Swiftwater                                                  ______       _____
Cliff                                                       ______       _____

_________________________________________                   _________    _______

_________________________________________                   __________   ________

_________________________________________                   __________   ________

_________________________________________                   __________   ________

________________________________________                    __________   ________

Page 38  El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
                                                                        Appendix G

                             Member Record of Events
Event (Search, training, meeting, etc)              Date       Hours      Mileage

                             El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue  Page 39

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