Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council

29 June 1991

Subject: PSARC Minutes

Enclosure (1) Members in Attendance (2) Treasurers Report (3) Communications Plan

The PSARC meeting was called to order at 1020, 29 June 1991, in the EMA offices in the courthouse in Lewistown, Pa. The meeting was opened and introductions made.

The minutes of the board meeting were read by Ken and accepted as read.

Treasurers report:

See enclosure (2).

Announcement at beginning of meeting: July 2 meeting in Harrisburg - FEMA and PEMA development of U S & R Teams. Irv supplied details presented in FEMA/PEMA packets of 17 June 1991.


IRV - Eastern meeting attended by approximately 22, with speakers from the Coast Guard on hypothermia and liabilities.

JOE T. - West; Seven member organizations attended. U S & R was discussed and the group was addressed by a representative from Westinghouse on U S & R Development Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for 27 July 1991 at Kooser St. Park.;

KEN - 11 May - Six groups, including members of WEST attended. Information was presented on past litigation, liabilities, standards and guideline development. A need for individual membership was discussed. Cave and BAR resources for Central Region were explored.


Discussion was opened with a presentation by Andy Appel who presented the pros and cons of incorporation. Andy explained how incorporation effects personal versus business liability. Incorporation does involve an expense consisting of legal fees, set-up expense and maintenance fees. Incorporation will protect individual member organization from direct economic liability, but will not provide protection if the organization is involved in a particular search. Incorporation will protect non-profit EMS type organizations-business. Discussion followed indicated that standards were needed based upon what we have now, development of a definition of a "Team"; chain of liability (example) local team - PSARC - PEMA - The state; and standards versus certification.

IRV commented how incorporation will change tax liability, that the impact of the by-laws will change from informal interpretation to absolute interpretation, a corporation is a "person" and therefore the individual organization and collective agents can be sued.

Andy continued the discussion of liability versus "the reasonable man action".

Peter pointed out that even though there maybe no standards now, ASTM is slowly developing and will eventually adopt nationwide standards. Andy suggested a reason for incorporation is to further PSARC as an educational organization.

It was discussed that PSARC would not be liable during this process of developing standards and guidelines as we are NOT attempting to portray ourselves as a certifying organization.

Jim Howley made a motion to incorporate PSARC, Irv seconded the motion. The motion was tabled while the board reviewed applications of two teams for membership. WEST was accepted as a new member and Northeast SAR as a renewal. The motion to incorporate was then passed by unanimous vote.

The meeting broke into an informal working lunch at 1152. The following points were discussed:

- The question of PSARC becoming an operational organization that is actually involved in search.

- It was noted that no purpose for PSARC is included in the constitution and/or by-laws.

- Discussion continued on a definition of standards and the necessity of standards for PSARC operation. Operational standards for commonality and protocol within the state and between states might be helpful. Minimum standards versus establishing a model that the state will eventually mandate was discussed. Several members recommended selecting preexisting guidelines and accepting those as standards.

- A state wide mutual aid agreement might be helpful and dedicated state wide communication frequencies would be helpful.

- Marion suggested that a team must have written standards, either their own or others accepted with minimum service performance standards and an explanation of understanding between the service and the provider. She pointed out that it helps to develop PR if a selection of standards is available to send with inquires about the

`team, and that it helps to "elevate" other persons as they attempt to gain training and experience.


Open Forum For Discussion of Mission Problems:

Bruce Barton introduced a search for discussion, questioning if Pennsylvania State Police or anyone must respond for a competent adult

that ohm family feels may ho lost. The consensus is that this is a

agent? The local municipality is the responsible agent unless it is a multi-jurisdictional then the county becomes the responsible agent. Legislation from the past was discussed and education of the responsible authority and the "sale" of our services to the responsible party is imperative.



The board met with PEMA and is helping to identify resources for them. The new PSARC resource form was modified to conform to the PEMA resource form and PSARC is continuing to help with its distribution. Discussion followed on "What Constitutes a Team", and this was tabled for further discussion at a later meeting.

A great deal of discussion on how to attract new membership occurred. PREPLAN

This committee is collecting information. Several teams are sending information for further review.


The By-Laws committee has begun to communicate and will begin to rewrite the by-laws as we have agreed to incorporate.


The Training committee has had some meetings with the Fire Academy.

1. The Fire Academy has established Grid Team instructor requirements.

2. They are requesting they we help recruit eligible candidates.

3. Bruce Trego is point of contact for further information.

4. The Fire Academy has identified five search and rescue classes.

5. Instructor applications were distributed for the Fire Academy.

6. A letter of request to keep Bruce Trego as liaison from PSARC to the Fire Academy.


The Standards Committee is collecting information and is requesting standards from any teams.


Joe Trash presented a draft communications plan (see enclosure 3). Operational procedures and SOP will be added once this plan is accepted. The committee is attempting to obtain state wide frequencies and to secure licensing. PSARC will not purchase supporting equipment. Teams will have to continue to purchase their own mobile and hand held equipment. It was recommended that PSARC work towards dedicated radio frequencies for search and rescue and develop a model plan for the Commonwealth. Discussion followed, that perhaps mobile and stationary repeaters may be needed. The members suggested that the committee investigate PEMA's assistance in obtaining 155.160 and at least one other frequency. Brian Greenway was suggested as a contact for frequency coordination.

Irv suggested development of a plan of action to coordinate frequencies and to work closely with the by-laws committee to comply with all legalities and licensing applications. Bruce Barton made a motion to accept the plan as presented. Andy Appel seconded. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Bruce Barton made a motion to apply for coordination and licensure for 155.160 and 150.775 as minimum frequencies and the funding necessary to fill as many frequencies of ''the communication plan A thru I;        a funding limit of $350. was introduced to obtain the frequency 155.160 and any other frequency available; PEMA was to be contacted and coordination made. Expenditure of funds was to be made at the committees discretion. Roy Keiser seconded. The vote was four to three. Motion carried.


The December meeting will be held in Lewistown at the Fire Academy on 28 December 1991 at 1000.

Question to the general audience was: Does anyone know what happened to drawings or plans to the PSARC patch? If you do contact Peter McCabe.


To be appointed by Peter McCabe. To develop a slate of candidates and publicize the slate on a time schedule for election with the results announced at the December meeting.

The question was posed by Bruce Barton as to "Why semi-annual meetings?". Peter explained that this allows the board to conduct administrative business allowing regional meetings to review the business and still have time for discussion for training, mission critique, and presentation of topics of interest and education.

Motion to adjourn was made by Joe Thrash. Seconded by Jack Humberson. Meeting was adjourned at 1525.


MarthaAnn Ackroyd           SCSDSAR

Joe Thrash            SCSDSAR

Irv Lichtenstein   GPSR

Greg Sassman      DER State Parks Cowans GAP St. Park

Marian Hardy       Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S.

Jack Humberson  Somerset Co. Sheriff "s Dept SAR SCSDSAR

Jim Howley          Thornhurst Vol. Fire & Rescue Co.

Gayle James         Strike

Bruce Barton       Northeast Search & Rescue

Roy Keiser           Strike

Norm Smith         PEMA

Bruce Trego         Mifflin Co. Specialized Search & Rescue

Brenda Pittman    Lancaster Co. EMS/EMA

Karen Small         Wilderness Emergency Strike Team

Ron Small            Wilderness Emergency Strike Team

Lew Ibaugh jr.      West 6-10 Lancaster Co. Emergency Mgmt.

Andrew Appel      Wilderness Emergency Strike Team

Tom Glovier        W.E.S.T.

Beth Zell              Search & Rescue Dog Handler

Carolyn Kerns     Vigilant SAR Saves Team

Ken Boyles          Col Denning State Park

Tom Hirchak        Keystone S.A.R.

Scott Wible          Keystone S.A.R.

Peter McCabe      ESAR 616