SAR Member Shot in the Sierras

A Placer County Sheriff's uniformed volunteer survived being shot while on a search in Nevada County, CA.


SAR members are in the field practically every moment of every day.  We train to avoid problems and mitigate risk, but sometimes the problems come looking for us.

There are some lessons for everyone in SAR from this event:

First  - always have good communications with the command post (you never know when you are going to need help)

Second - always know where you are so that when you call for help you can get it to you.  Navigation skills are perishable, and GPS technology isn't perfect, don't rely on just one method.  For the CP, always know where your teams are in the field and maintain positive accountability - keep a regular radio health/status routine.

Third - be prepared to stay overnight and sustain a person with possible life threatening injuries when you go into the wilderness

Fourth - pay attention and practice first aid skills.  These skills are perishable and are mostly required in high pressure situations 

Fifth - CA searchers have protections under the Disaster Service Worker Program.  This program provides medical expenses, short term and long term disability, workers comp and a death disability.  This state run program should be the model for every state to help protect volunteer SAR responders.

Sixth - without knowing the details of the incident, you always want to be careful out there in uniform.  Not everyone understands that you are a volunteer, out looking for a person in need, and are well intentioned.

Here is the story -

What other lessons do you see from this that you can apply to your team, training and searching ?

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