Managing Search Operations, (MSO)

A course of Instruction on how to run a search


The MSO course was developed back in the early eighties by a group of hardcore, experienced search and rescue (SAR) managers, they saw a need for a better, more refined, and standardized way of managing a search mission. The program that developed has been given under the banners of NASAR's MSF and the program we teach, from Emergency Response Institute, a leading educational and publishing company in the emergency services field, which is run by one of the programs authors.

Managing Search Operations (MSO) - Wilderness

Focus is on wilderness incidents. This 5-day, 40-hour Plus or 4 day 36 hour course is designed for those who have the responsibility to plan and prepare for search operations in any emergency environment, be it wilderness, rural, or urban. This is not a hands-on skills course; it is management oriented. Participants will learn how to plan for, organize and manage a search effort for missing persons using incident management (command) techniques. Emphasis is on state-of-the-art methods, e.g. probability theory, lost person behavior studies, clue awareness, search detection probabilities and research, use of computers as a planning tool, hasty search techniques, and more! Participants will also learn about various types of rescue environments and the special difficulties of each. The emphasis is on the resources needed to do the job right. The expected outcome is that students should be able to properly manage search and rescue (emergency) operations through the work of others, (using the right resources). Small group discussion and tabletop map exercises are used in this course.  This class can be given on two weekends in some areas.

Also available is a 2-day, 16-hour condensed version.  

Course Content: Overview of the national search and rescue (SAR) picture; SAR manager: job and responsibilities; Philosophy and concepts of effective SAR management; An example mission; SAR vulnerability assessment; SAR resources; Developing a SAR plan; Planning data/searching data; First notice; Organization, incident management (command); The search planning function; Investigation, Interviewing; Determining the search urgency; Lost subject behavior; Theory of search probabilities; Establishing the search area; Confinement; Search area segmentation; Assigning probabilities of area; Clue orientation; Applying SAR resources; Callout procedures; Search tactics, Probability of detection; Use of computer technology; Briefing; Debriefing; Documentation; Managing search base operations; Managing external influences; Rescue and recovery concepts; Suspending the mission; Demobilization; Post mission; Psychological and stress problems in SAR management; Legal issues; SAR statistics; Preventive SAR education.  Class uses overheads, PowerPoint presentation, videos and hands on map work.

Students that complete the class receive a Rescue International Certificate; some classes may also receive a certificate from other sponsoring agency or organization.  This class may also be given via Bucks County Community College in PA at reduced or no cost to attendees, contact us for details.

A USAR and Canine version of this course is available for specific organization requirements that focus on these special applications.

Please contact Rescue International for more information E-Mail academy@rescueinternational.org


Copyrighted 1996-2013 Bruce Bruce, NESAR INC, Rescue International, ERI and others