Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council

Board of Directors Meeting Harrisburg East Shore Public Library

November 27, 1994

The meeting was brought to order at 1315 hours. Board members present were: Peter McCabe, Martha Geary, Ron Wisbith. Others present included: Steve Houck (Communications Committee), Ken Boyles (Operations Committee), and Nelson Haas (Northern Region Representative). A quorum was not present to conduct official business on behalf of the Council.

The following bullets identify the issues on the printed Agenda. Following each issue is a summary of the discussion that occurred.

1)     The need to involve all PSARC member groups, delegates and delegate alternates in PSARC functions and activities.

2)     Expanding membership in PSARC committees and the development of team management and empowerment concepts.

a)      It is very difficult to ask people to travel, in some instances, across a large state to attend PSARC committee meetings. We're lucky to get the attendance we do.

b)      Suggest revamping the quarterly PSARC meetings to the following:

i)       0900- 1100  Committee meetings in different meeting rooms

ii)     1100- 1200  Committee Reports

iii)   1200- 1500  General Council meeting

iv)    This suggestion will be brought before the December 3 PSARC meeting for consideration.

v)      It is recognized that some Committee work will have to take place be phone or mail between meetings.

c)      Several efforts are now underway to identify all PSARC team alternate delegates so as to enlarge the pool of possible Committee members.

d)      While the wish to involve all PSARC member groups, delegates and delegate alternates in PSARC functions and activities is admirable, the fact is that people and teams should have enough interest to get involved on their own initiative; not wait for someone to ask them.

3)     Beginning Discussions -- the process, coordination and timetable of moving toward uniform operations:

a)      review of the inter-related processes in retrofitting training programs; and

b)      activating individual accreditation standards; developing or adopting team/group standards;

i)       There is a need to develop a wide range of training opportunities.   For example, the Training Committee should be in a position to review training proposals from PSARC member teams and comment on the possibility of other's participating in that particular training.

ii)     The PSARC has specific information on topics in its COQ, FTM and FTL standards that are covered in State Fire Training Academy (SFTA/PEMA) training modules. Conversely, information is then also available on what requirements are not covered in SFTA/PEMA training modules.

iii)   The Training Committee needs to review SFTA/PEMA training and other available training to make a compendium of training opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.

iv)    One Pennsylvania team is considering offering a "SAR weekend college" program. The Training Committee should review this concept re: the possibility of future "ground search and rescue" (GSAR) colleges, hosted by PSARC member teams. Suggestion was made for 3 each year.

v)      Regarding developing or adopting team/group standards, the consensus was "park it. There was discussion that development of standard operating procedures (SOPS) involving procedures and minimal equipment would initially probably be more appropriate and timely.

c)      development of arrangements and operational protocols for state-wide alerting and callout procedures;

d)      the development of a Council "mission coordinator" paradigm within PEMA to provide coordination and liaison officers (mission coordinators) to work with the PEMA emergency operations center.

i)       Let's wait to see what develops from the December 2 meeting between McCabe and Boyles with PEMA.

4)     consideration of units and teams (including non-PSARC members) who do not want to participate in state-wide operations.

a)      Not discussed.

5)     Proposals of dates for 1995 PSARC meetings.

a)      25 March 1995    20 May 1995

b)      22 July 1995        30 September 1995 18 November 1995 (1995 Annual Meeting)

The meeting adjourned at 1640 hours.