Ground Search

Every year, thousands of people head into the backcountry to enjoy the escape that nature provides. The Northeastern United States offers tens of thousands of miles of hiking trials. Having the right gear in the backcountry is essential. Every hiker should have and know how to use a map and compass. Fire starting and water purification are also essentials for unplanned nights in the wilderness. Even with the best preparation and skills, things go wrong, people can become injured or incapacitated. SARRT is trained and capable of operating in these remote areas.

Orienteering and Terrain Analysis

SARRT members are trained in the techniques necessary for navigating and analyzing wildlands terrain with a map and compass in conjunction with the physical features of the land.

Type 1 | Hasty Search

Team members pair up and move quickly as time is critical. This is a quick and efficient search by small teams that travel quickly to the likely spots and by the route of least resistance. A hasty search is generally the first tactic used in the early hours and days of a search. The hope is the subject is still alive and responsive. Most search missions end within the first day or two and never get past the hasty search mode.

Type 2 Search

This is a more organized yet rapid search of a large area. Small teams of three persons are assigned an area. One-person guides on a physical feature such as a trail, creek, road or ridge top or are assigned a compass bearing to follow. The other two-team members guide off that person and search an area to either side, roaming through the brush following the path of least resistance, checking likely spots. Spacing may be as much as 100 feet between searchers. Density of the brush dictates how far apart searchers may be and the distance will fluctuate depending on the visibility. This is a very efficient search tactic, used while the subject is still believed to be responsive and will answer to voice checks.

Type 3 Search

This is a thorough search method but not very efficient. It requires a large number of people to cover a relatively small area with a high probability of detection. It is used in the later stages of a search when the chance the subject is down and not responsive has increased.

Type 4 Search

This is used only on evidence searches. This is a very thorough search, with team members shoulder to shoulder on hands and knees, clearing brush down to bare earth and looking for small evidence items such as weapons, bullet casings, bone fragments, etc.