NASAR Has Begun Auditing Ground SAR Education And Certification Programs Against Seven (7) Third Party Standard Bodies.

NASAR utilizes seven (7) different standards/guidance organizations for the foundation of developing its ground SAR education and certification programs and products.  We try to be as inclusive as possible so our programs can provide value in as many jurisdictions as possible.  We currently exceed, comply with, follow, or use as guidance the following organizations or programs:

  • NIMS/NIC – National Incident Management System / National Integration Center
  • ASTM International
  • NFPA – National Fire Protection Association
  • CSA – Canadian Standards Association
  • DHS/FEMA – Department of Homeland Security
  • DOD Orders – Department of Defense
  • IAMSAR/NSARC – International Aeronautical and Maritime SAR Manual / National Search and Rescue Committee

We are currently working to crosswalk each of the standards and requirements against what we currently provide for education and certification.  We will be identifying any shortcomings and building a corrective action plan to update our materials and programs.

The magnitude of this effort is really exposed with the ST II certification program.  Between the seven standard/guidance organizations there are 862 specific requirements or guidance for us to follow. Here are a few examples of what we have to ensure is in our FUNSAR training or ST II testing:

  • NSARC/IAMSAR Land SAR Addendum to the National Search and Rescue Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime SAR Manual – page 4-51, table 4-7-1, provides guidance that Land SAR responders should use the USNG as their primary navigation system and the Lat/Long ( as the secondary system.  Notice that UTM and MGRS is not mentioned.  NASAR is moving our navigation education and testing towards USNG.
  • ASTM F2209-14, 12.7, provides that Land Search Team members shall know the differences between active (or direct) and passive (or indirect) search tactics, their advantages and disadvantages, and the reasons for their use.  We already cover this in our programs, but we need to check this box.
  • CSA Z1625-16, 4.6.3, T6, indicates ground searchers must demonstrate marking, editing and deleting a waypoint with a GPS.  We are going to have to look at this and figure out what to do for ground search teams that do not yet use or have regular access to GPS technology.

These are just 3 examples the 862 specific topics/issues we need to confirm are adequately taught and tested in our programs.

The audit is not going to happen overnight, and the corrective actions will not happen right away either.  This crosswalk process has begun with the current FUNSAR, SARTECH II, and MLPI/MISF programs.  The new SARFTL (Field Team Leader) is being built with the crosswalk as a design checklist to ensure we cover all the topics from the beginning.

The results of this program audit will provide us with a work plan for updating our ground SAR materials over the next 3 years.  Once we have a handle on the ground SAR process, then we will develop a strategy for dealing with the Canine Standards.

Thanks for your attention,

Chris Boyer
Executive Director

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