Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council


March 26, 1988

The regular quarterly meeting of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council was called to order by President Ron Wisbith at 1036 Hours on Saturday, March 26, 1988 in Cabin 9 at Gifford Pinchot State Park. There being a quorum present the regular order of business began.

The minutes of the previous meeting, held on December 19, 1987 were distributed. A correction was noted on page 3 relative to the Managing Search Operations course. A period was inserted after the word package and the remainder of the sentence deleted. The minutes were then approved as corrected.

The Treasurer reported a balance on hand of $310.44 as of the this meeting date. He also reported that the following organizations had paid their 1988 dues:

Keystone SAR Northeast SAR Greater Philadelphia SAR Somerset County Sheriff's SAR Rescue 40 West Jersey Canine

SMRG, through its representative Kevin Parkes, requested assistance with a special assignment, a 50 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail scheduled for April 23. All Council members will be sent a mailing via the newsletter with more details.

The Training Committee reported that Gary Derr would be teaching a mantracking course following the next regular meeting. A classroom session will be held on Saturday afternoon with the practical exercise to follow on Sunday morning. The location will be the same as the next meeting location.

The President reported on behalf of the Membership Committee that two applications for membership required followup. Members were reminded that applications for membership must be referred to the membership Committee Chairman, Bruce Barton. The President instructed the Secretary to forward these followup requests to the Chairman by certified mail

The Ethics Committee reported on the use of SAR Council resource data for commercial purposes. It was recommended that only the official name and addresses of member organizations be released to commercial mailers. Any member organization NOT wishing to receive such commercial mailings as proprietary school training programs, catalogs, etc. should so inform the Secretary and their address will be removed from any list released. Commercial users should make their requests in writing stating the purpose of the request.

The mail ballot amendment to the Bylaws, previously published was adopted unanimously. A copy is attached to these minutes.

The previously published policy statement of the Colorado Search and Rescue Board to NOT charge for SAR services was discussed and recommended as a guideline for all member organizations. A copy is attached to these minutes.

The Legislation Committee's report was read into the record. There have been no responses to the Committee's questionnaire on legislative needs.

After considerable discussion from the floor the body unanimously endorsed House Bill 751, currently in the Conservation Committee. Legislative Committee Chairman Weyrich is tasked with tracking this bill. Copies will be published when available.

All member organizations are urged to support this bill by contacting their home district representative and having their members also write to their representative. This bill is a starting point for organizing SAR in Pennsylvania.

Incorporation of the Council as a non-profit corporation was tabled as there appeared to be no immediate need to incorporate. Mutual aid agreements were discussed. As the local responsible authority must approve all such requests for additional aid prior to the request being issued on real missions in Pennsylvania this matter was left to the individual teams. All members present affirmed that they would respond to another member's call for assistance, resources permitting.

The dates and locations of the next meetings were discussed and the following schedule adopted: June 18, 1988; Sept. 24, 1988, Dec. 17, 1988, March 25, 1989, and June 24, 1989. Mr. Lipko stated that the Fire Academy's policy requiring an Academy employee to be present, on paid overtime, while another state agency used the facility is being revised. The dates the Fire Academy facility was available were considered when the schedule was revised. It was the consensus of the body that the SAR Council should establish its meeting place permanently at the Fire Academy if the facility would be available.

Ken Boyles announced on behalf of the DER that four courses for external training have been completed and are available for training SAR groups. These courses will only be presented by DER instructors.

Ken will present summaries of theses courses at the next SAR Council meeting. He further stated that DER policy is to only allow the materials to be used by qualified instructors. A-V materials will not be loaned or duplicated for any other purpose.

The analysis of search mission data is continuing and several preliminary findings were presented. This material is not yet ready for publication as the current data base is too small. ALL missions must be reported and the reports sent to the DER for inclusion in the data base. The NASAR mission report form is acceptable and may be elaborated on by attaching additional sheets describing the mission or maps and other notes. Reports will be accepted at any time for any mission, so catch up on your paperwork and submit your reports to the DER data bank. The statistics derived from this data base will be needed to justify the existence of organized SAR in the Commonwealth. Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue announced that GPSR would be alerted by the Montgomery County (PA) public safety communications center located in the Eagleville EOC. A new emergency telephone will be installed on or after April 1, 1988 by the telephone company. This phone will be listed to Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue and will be an Eagleville-Norristown exchange. As of the meeting date the alerting tones had been assigned and tested, some pagers acquired, and procedures prepared for entry in the CAD system. The new number will be published as soon as procedures are confirmed. The current emergency number will remain in effect in parallel for at least 90 days after the new system is activated.

The meeting adjourned at 1500 hours.


The Secretary, as instructed by the body on the adoption of the Bylaws, submitted the following Amendment to the Bylaws of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council:

Be it resolved at this regular quarterly meeting of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council, convened on March 26, 1988 at the Gifford Pinchot State Park that section IV.2.a of the Bylaws be amended to read:

IV.2.a ELECTION OF OFFICERS--A printed ballot containing the names in alphabetical order of the nominees for each elective office shall be provided to each member organizations' designated representative to the Council. This ballot shall be prepared by the Secretary so as to implement the following voting procedures:

At the regular third quarter meeting of the Council nominations for elective office shall be opened in the course of business. These nominations shall be closed by motion or on adjournment of the meeting. Following the closing of nominations the Secretary shall prepare an official ballot and mail one ballot and an envelope for wrapping the ballot to the official address of each of the member organizations.

Each member organization, through its official delegate, shall indicate its vote for the appropriate number of candidates for each elective office. The marked ballot shall be then be placed in the wrapping envelope provided without marking the wrapping in any way that may indicate the organization's identity or the vote contained therein.

The envelope containing the ballot shall then be placed in a suitable mailing envelope. The mailing envelope shall be marked with the name of the organization, address, and signature of the delegate(s) in the area usually reserved for the return address. The ballot shall be mailed to the Secretary so as to arrive ten working days prior to the fourth quarter meeting when elections are scheduled.

The ballot submitted in accordance with this article shall be the official ballot of the member organization. Organizations that do not submit a ballot by mail may vote by appearing at the meeting prior to the beginning of the vote count and completing a ballot in the manner described above.

The resolution having been passed unanimously by the quorum present at the regular quarterly meeting and the conditions for amending the Bylaws of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council having been satisfied the Secretary certifies that this is a true and correct copy of the Amendment as passed and made effective on March 26, 1988.