Managing Land Search Operations

The term "SAR" denotes two separate functions; first search and second rescue.

Rescue utilises proven procedures with a high degree of technical skill for subject retrieval with the principle problem of devising the safest quick method of removing that individual from danger to a place of safety. On the other hand, search for missing or lost subjects often involves sophisticated science including: statistics, probability, human behavior and interviewing. These are but a few of the standard tools used in land search strategies.

The "Managing Land Search Operations" course is designed for those who have the responsibility to plan, prepare for, and respond to search operations for missing or lost people in wilderness, rural, or urban environments. The SARINZ MLSO has been customised in NZ to cater for CIMS, Police procedures, but still soundly based on the science of search.
Training in NZ is available in two 3-day training blocks (MIR + FSP) as well as the original 5-day format (MLSO).

The completion of either training option leads to Advanced Search Planning.

The Advanced Search Planning is focused on the skills and requirements for personnel responsible for either the Incident Controller or the specialist Search Planning function.

Managing the Initial Response (MIR)

Formal Search Planning (FSP)

For years many have stated that "Probability Theory" (or formal Search Planning) and the use of mathematics is really not necessary in search because the majority of incidents are over in 12 to 24 hours. This is supported by the evidence. Based on actual operational data, 91% of searches will likely be resolved within a 12 hour window. If you push this to 24 hours, this extends to a little more than 95% of operations. However, 1 in every 20 operations (about 5%) have the potential of being more difficult and so require more formal search planning.
  • Do you know which operation this will be?
  • Are you prepared to handle the response?
The FSP course provides both an introduction to, as well as all of the intermediate skills of search planning as is targeted towards Incident Controllers, Planning/Intel Managers, Operations Managers and Logistics Managers, particularly those that are involved in smaller IMT's where crossover between functional responsibilites is likely to occur.

Advanced Search Planning