Search and Rescue

Debrief of 13 Nov 1999 training

Review portion

Instructors reviewed some basic concepts of search techinques including Hasty, Efficient and Thorough search, searcher attitudes, establishing an LZ, considerations while searching.

Classroom feedback:

none received so far

Field exercises

"Pot Test"

Twenty small, green flowerpots were laid out in an area 200 feet by 200 feet. A trail went through the center of the area, and the pots were scattered as far as 80 feet from the trail. Searchers were told that the pots could be as far as 100 feet away, and that they should move along the trail and identify the location of the pots. An instructor followed the searchers and marked down the position at which they located each pot.

The following table enumerates raw data from each searcher (names withheld to protect the innocent):

SearcherStartEndtime# found% found (POD)rate foundleft foundright found
19:459:505 min1260%2.4 per min4/9=44%8/11=73%
29:539:585 min1680%3.2 per min7/9=78%9/11=81%
310:0010:077 min1785%2.4 per min7/9=78%10/11=91%
410:1110:154 min1575%3.75 per min5/9=56%10/11=91%
510:1810:246 min1680%2.7 per min8/9=89%8/11=73%
610:2810:324 min1155%2.8 per min3/9=33%8/11=73%
710:3910:423 min1360%4.3 per min4/9=44%9/11=82%
810:4710:492 min945%4.5 per min2/9=22%7/11=64%
910:5510:583 min1260%4 per min4/9=44%8/11=73%
1011:3111:354 min1365%3.25 per min5/9=56%8/11=73%
1111:4011:455 min1785%3.4 per min8/9=89%9/11=82%
1211:4811:524 min1575%3.8 per min7/9=78%8/11=73%
1311:5511:594 min945%2.25 per min3/9=33%6/11=54%
1412:0212:053 min1575%5 per min5/9=56%10/11=91%
1512:0712:103 min1155%3.7 per min3/9=33%8/11=73%
1612:3412:373 min1365%4.3 per min4/9=44%9/11=82%
More analysis of the sheets is needed. A quick survey above does point out that many people found more clues on their right than on their left. A brief survey of the sheets found that many searchers found most of their clues by looking ahead of them, and few by looking behind them. Some clues were only visible by looking back. Here is a histogram showing the number of searchers who found a given number of clues by looking behind them:
Clues found behindNumber of searchers
In the case of the five people only finding one clue behind them, in four of the five cases the one clue found behind them was one that was right next to the trail, which could only be seen if one looked back just after passing it.

Only two team members found the clue most distant from the trail (80 feet away). This clue was placed in such a way that it could only be seen by looking backward long after one had already passed the clue. This clue was placed about forty feet down the trail and 80 feet away from it. In the case of one searcher, it was found by looking backward when the searcher was a hundred feed down the trail, and the other searcher found it by looking backward from 140 feet down the trail.

There was one clue that nobody found. It was about a foot away from another clue that almost everyone found, but was hidden behind a shrub and was only visible when the light hit it just right from a few angles along the trail. Most members saw it when it was pointed out to them after the exercise, but because the lines of the pot were broken up by the shrub it was difficult for them to see it without knowing it was there.

Sound attraction experiment

data forthcoming People working on this exercise commented on how clear or inaudible sound was depending on the slightest breeze. Also, it was suggested that when whistling, blow once, wait a second before you blow again so that people have time to stop their self-generated noise to listen, since the first whistle might get their attention, but they aren't sure they even heard a whistle at all from the first whistle. It seemed that at training and during the succeeding real mission (990526), chatter from searchers interferes with listening for subject sounds.

"Pin the tail on the SAR sound"

Searchers were blindfolded, made to turn around several times to disorient them, and asked to point in the direction of a distant teammember calling out "help." The goal was to emphasize how difficult it is to pinpoint a sound given echos, wind and other distracting noise. One thing was clear: we need to be aware that noises like the rustling of clothing and especially idle chatter mask ones ability to hear the very sounds we may be seeking.

data forthcoming

Field exercise feedback

The instructors solicit feedback from attendees which will be placed here. Send feedback to the team mailbox and we will include it here.

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Last Modified: 04/20/15 12:43:13
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