Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council


DECEMBER 19, 1987

The Board of Directors convened at 0952 in the social room of the Fame Fire Company 2 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania on December 19,1987. The open matter from the previous meeting, the true nature of SAR K-9 Service's organization was discussed. Bruce Barton provided a copy of the current Bylaws of SAR K-9 which were read into the record. As SAR K-9 has resolved an internal problem with organizational versus individual members by eliminating the organizational category of membership. This resolved the concern of the Board. The Board adjourned at 1000.

The regular quarterly meeting of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council convened at 1005 hours on December 19, 1987 at the Fame Fire Co. 2 in Lewistown, Pa. Twenty persons attended, representing 12 member organizations. The minutes were approved as previously published (Barton, Sassaman).

The Secretary discussed the schedule for approving the mail ballot provisions to be added to the Bylaws prior to the elections at the end of 1988. Mail ballotting will require approval at the Spring meeting and result in nominations being closed at the Fall meeting to allow for the mailing of ballots. Possible text was discussed and a formal proposal will be drafted for the Spring meeting.

The Secretary brought to the floor the information concerning the 9-1-1 bills pending in the Commonwealth's Legislature and the proposed job protection for emergency volunteer workers bill.

On a motion by Barton and Sassaman the Council voted unanimously to support the 9-1-1 bill with the concern that all emergency service providers would be given access to the resulting dispatch centers. A letter will be sent by the Secretary so stating the views of the Council.

On a motion by Hebard and Barton the job protection bill was also supported with the concern that lost person searchers would also be covered.

John Kihl reported on the activities of the State Rescue Task Force. The reestablishment of PEMA in accordance with the Sunset Law also reestablished the Office of Fire as a line item in the Commonwealth's budget for the first time since it was moved from the office of the Governor to PEMA. This will reduce PEMA control over the State Fire Academy, and related matters.

There will be a meeting of the Rescue Task Force on January 8 at the Fire Academy.

The EMS Communications Committee has been active with all state agencies. The Pennsylvania State Police have become cognizant of the problems caused by personnel operating on other than police frequencies which are installed in their cruisers for interoperability purposes. Standard Operating Procedures are being developed to alleviate the problem. A statewide major incident tactical frequency plan is being developed, including an on-scene to EOC channel(s).

A proposed definition of a Sprecial Response Unit (SRU) will be discussed at the January Task Force meeting. This definition will cover services not furnished by "road" units, state training, and certification.               The SAR Council's active participation and unified stand on the issues has resulted in respect for our 1 year old organization.

On a motion by Kihl, seconded by Barton, the Council voted to unanimously support the concept that EMT's and Paramedics should be allowed to train and function as EMT's and Paramedics primarily as a member of any Special Response Unit or rescue unit as defined by Act 45. There apparently has been a movement to limit training and practice to over the road transporting units. As wilderness lost person search units Council members do not transport patients beyond the roadhead where they are transferred to conventional ambulances. Any such limitations on practice could endanger patients far from the road.

Jack Grieff and Joe Thrash were added to the Training Committee. All units were asked to send in their training schedules and to indicate whether the events were open or closed.

The PAEHSC has established a computer bulletinboard for its members and committees to use. The system is located in Pittsburgh. EMSI will be sponsoring its first conference in March and there will be a SAR track at the PAERMS annual meeting.

A pilot rescue report form has been published by the Rescue Task Force and copies are available.

The Treasurer reported that a share account with draft priveleges was opened at the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union. As of the time of the report cash on hand and on account totaled $135. With that news the meeting recessed for lunch.

After reconvening Greg Sassaman presented a summary of the DER analysis of missions reports submitted to date. Council members were reminded that prompt filing of reports was necessary to build up the statistics and justification for lost person search.

The President established an Ethics Committee with Kevin Parkes, Chairman. The President and Secretary will sit ex officio and Joe Thrash will also be a member.

It was reported that Lt. Col. Schuler, CAP has been promoted to wing commander, PA. Wing CAP, succeeding the late Col. Milano.

A proposal from the PR Committee is attached to these minutes. The Training Committee proposed that the Council meetings be expanded from Saturday morning to a full weekend on the following basis: Saturday morning Board and General Meeting to conclude by lunch, a Saturday afternoon classroom training session, and a Sunday morning practical session. Depending on location a Friday night or Saturday night social could be held.

On a motion by Joe Thrash and Greg Sassaman the Council endorsed the offering of the Managing Search Operations course package byNotherast Search and Rescue in the near future.

A motion to establish annual dues for member organizations was made by Bob Elwig and seconded by Tom Hirchak. Following discussion the motion was pased establishing dues for 1988 at $25 per organization, due January 1 and payable by the March 26, 1988 meeting. The location of the March meeting is to be established in the Harrisburg area, close to the Turnpike.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 1415.