Mushrooms in August–Ice Cream at the Grill (FCSAR Meeting)

This has to be the most rain I’ve ever seen in August—I’ve even seen mushrooms popping up everywhere when usually the grass is crunching underfoot! Though we have had some really hot weather, the last few days have been really mild. Thanks to everyone who came out to the meeting and for Fred for writing this month’s SAR Meeting article! Melissa

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August SAR Meeting

By: Fred Mullen


One role of any proficient responding organization is for its members to be familiar with important changes in the community they serve.  Last night our SAR team checked out one of these at the Southern Grill in Ozark.  They have a new homemade ice cream machine–it was good!

Sixteen Responders attended including two  EMCOM volunteers, Rick and Dylan Covert.  They came over for ice cream—I mean training, after they completed the weekly ARES/RACES radio net.


We opened the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of Sebastian County Deputy Sgt. Bill Cooper who died recently LODD.  Many of us have completed some SAR training with Bill and responded to some missions with him.  Bill and SAR team member Steve Scott were patrol partners on the Ft. Smith PD early in their LEO careers.  Bill was a good guy.


We discussed a few missions from June, July and August and worked on some Lessons Learned/Best Practices from them. More about this a little later.


OEM  reported that the VHF repeater project for Whitting Mountain is progressing.  The license has been received and the repeater has been ordered. We are hoping to be online in a couple of months. (More info will be available in a related article soon).

More commo improvements include the installation of mobile radios into some of our Responder’s vehicles–Tom, Leon, Frank and David S.  Rex has offered to place one in his Jeep and a bracket in his UTV so it can be plugged into it to use as relay if needed–pretty good idea!

Melissa F. discussed the activation of a new computer dedicated to Mission Management.  It is located on the Command Desk in the Coordination Center.  It has our mapping and mission management software on it.


Training for the next few months was discussed.  The Winter Skills Weekend will be Feb. 17, 18 and 19, 2017 at Byrd’s Adventure Center.  David S. has Rope Ops (Sep) and Rope Tech (Oct) Classes scheduled–contact him for info .   Also, we have a few slots for our search managers in the Oct 21, 22 and 23, 2016 Virtual Search Planning class—I think Sean, Holly and Melissa are planning on attending.  Training requests included: Leon recommended that we get back to doing some weekend stuff—hikes, campouts, navigation exercises, etc.  Tom and some of the guys suggested it was time to do another ATV/UTV operators class.  The ATV/UTV Safety class might be integrated into the Winter Weekend.  Vicki asked about some staging area management training materials and job aids.

Weekend stuff will probably be integrated into a new quarterly schedule designed to provide additional regular opportunities.   This is planned for several reasons—need for SAR TECHs(I,II, III)  to have verifiable training hours for NASASR recert; reduce pressure on team members to meet acceptable levels of training by being able to get several hours at one meeting; improve the SAR skills of non-SAR team member who assist at searches–FFs, LEOs, EMTs, Dispatchers, etc.  Also, this would be good times to have our Mutual Aid partners train with us.  The first one of these designed quarterly meetings will be in conjunction with the Winter Skills Weekend.


OEM provided a briefing for the  Sep 9,10 and 11, 2016 GRAVEL GRINDER Event at Mulberry Mountain Lodge.  This event includes 3 road races–the longest will be 72 miles. During the event, there will be a lot of non-race riders on the trails. We’ll email out some updates to the local responders as the pre-plan comes together.

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  1. Reduce the confusion on call outs by immediately establishing a team point of contact and alternate for each mission. We are updating the contacts lists and looking into and testing an alternate form of callout.
  2. Max brought to the group’s attention that some of us are not familiar with the 10-code. Since Dispatch continues to use 10-codes, we will be sending a list of their 10-codes out to SAR team members so we will know what the Dispatchers are talking about.  SAR WILL CONTINUE TO USE CLEAR TEXT AND PLAIN LANGUAGE EXCEPT FOR CODE WORDS REFERRING TO PATIENT’S CONDITION.
  3. OEM is working on standardizing the locks for all the trailers.  We hope to have all the EQUIPMENT TRAILERS on a single key.  The MOBIL COMMAND POST keys and the RESCUE TRUCK EQUIPMENT BOXES will remain the same.
  4. Recent declines in meeting attendance and response.  We think much of this was due to: seasonal factors; 3 team members were out of the country working at refugee camps; loss of some members due to moving or retirement; confusion caused by meeting on different nights some months.  So, we have gone back to 3rd Thursday of the month for TEAM MEETINGS AND DRILL.  Ideas to enhance attendance were discussed—Sean indicated that serving ice cream was a step in the right direction J


Thu Sep 15, 2016 at  1900 hrs at the OEM Building on Airport Road

JUST A REMINDER–If you want to help with the Staging Area Exercise on the morning of Thu Sep 15, please give Fred a call–479-209-0818.

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