Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council

Board of Directors Meeting and Quarterly Meeting

February 20, 1999


The Board of Directors meeting was called to order at 10:05 by President John Miller. Board members present included: President John Miller, Secretary Peter McCabe, and Directors Eric Gustkey, Art Kalbach and Mike Norris. Directors not present were Vice President Joe Thrash, Treasurer Carole Manuel, Keith Conover and Tom Hirchak.

Corrections to the Previous Minutes: In the presentation of Minutes from the last Board meeting, the following corrections were made.

One, the meeting was held on November 21 1998, not December 20, 1998.

Two, Eric Gustkey (Laurel Highlands) had been appointed Central Region Director on 11-21-98 for the unexpired term to December 2001, and Art Kalbach (WEST) had been appointed Eastern Region Director on 11-21-98 for the unexpired term to December 1999.

Three, membership requirements for PSARC Operational Teams require that to be considered operational in the year 2001, operational teams need to have 50% of their operational membership FTM qualified by December 31, 2000. (It was indicated that FTM qualifications in the Pennsylvania CAP and ASRC meet this requirement.)

Financial Reports:

For the period January 1, 1998 to December 31 1998, there were $947.62 in receipts, $1,792.74 in disbursements with a checking account balance of $96.28. There was $1,844.68 in a money market account with net assets reported at $1,840.96. (See attached financial reports.)

Membership Issues:

These are briefly noted in the order discussed.

        In a letter dated 1-21-99, Northeast SAR is interested in rejoining the Council. Following discussion, it was concluded that Membership Chair Don Scelza should send a letter to Northeast SAR indicating the Board would like to talk to their Board during the May SAREX. O There is a request for membership information from Mountaineer SAR in Emporia.

The Board of Directors meeting was adjourned at 11:12 hours

Respectfully submitted

Peter A. McCabe Secretary


The General Membership Meeting was called to order at 11:35 hours by President John Miller.

Representatives from a dive and recovery team were welcomed as visitors to the Council meeting. Council members signed in (see attached)

The Secretary's Minutes from the November 21, 1998 meeting were approved as amended.

The Treasurer's Report was approved as presented (see attached).

Old Business

Discussion of the Council SAREX during May 14-16 was held. Teams were urged to send in early registrations due to the popularity of the training event.

The PSARC mailing post office box will be moved from Somerset to Lancaster. WEST will provide space for Council archives with members asked to bring files to the May SAREX so they can be organized and placed in the PSARC archives.

Work in the Forms Committee is progressing with plans for final actions and approvals at the PSARC Board meeting at the May SAREX.

Discussion took place regarding a PSARC WEB page. <<<PSARC.ORG>>> has been registered. A committee is being formed by Keith Conover with a report to be provided at the May SAREX.

New Business

Training Committee:

Under Council Training Committee activities, it was noted the Pennsylvania Fire Training Academy is again beginning to offer ground SAR training courses in basic grid, and advanced grid. Pennsylvania DCNR is also planning to offer a series of courses (some redundant to the Fire Training Academy) in a revised single Grid Search course (formerly Basic Grid, and Advanced Grid), MSO, and First Responder. DCNR also plans to offer a 16-hour MSO refresher course. In DCNR zones 1 and 2, there are 15 DCNR SAR instructors. Board member and DCNR ranger Mike Norris indicated to become an instructor one needs to pre-qualify with DCNR and that information on that procedure will be forthcoming. He indicated that FTM testing is now underway throughout Pennsylvania. DCNR is planning a WEB page for its SAR Task Force. The PSARC WEB page will carry announcements of DCNR training and testing programs.

It was noted that a 40-hour Practical Search Operations (PSO) training course for PSARC members was planned for September 17-19 and October 15-17 at a site to be determined in western Pennsylvania. In March, members of the QCNR SAR Task Force took the PSO training course at the DCNR Training Center.

Operations Committee:

In a wide ranging discussion regarding opportunities and challenges for Council teams to become operational, it was concluded that any SAR team, functioning without uniform operational standards, will have difficulty approaching a government agency at the local, county or state level for consideration of acceptance as a professional resource. In this discussion, it was acknowledged there will be some SAR units that will decide not to follow a route to become operational, and that some teams wishing to do so will need to move through a training and accreditation procedure. Following this discussion a series recommendations were presented as a motion that PSARC Operational Teams will

1. Complete and submit a Council Resource Information Sheet; and

2. Appoint one member of their team to serve on the PSARC Operations Committee with the responsibility of the Operations Committee to develop by June 30,

1999, Operational Team Accreditation Standards for phased-in implementation beginning January 1, 2000 The motion included a requirement for team accreditation standards to include increasing minimums of trained and accredited members over an 18-month phase in period; and that team accreditation standards include minimum equipment requirements with an 18-month phase in period. The motion passed unanimously.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted; Peter A. McCabe Secretary