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Considering the safety of SAR resources

Page updated: 30 November 2020

If you're the Incident Controller, you have overall responsibility for the safety of SAR resources. However, people from SAR organisations are also responsible for keeping themselves safe during the Operations stage.

People from SAR organisations must keep themselves safe

If you're a person from a SAR organisation and you 're involved in Operations, you should be trained to keep yourself safe in the operating environment. You have first responsibility for your own safety.

If you think you don’t have enough training to perform an operating task you've been asked to do, you should inform the Incident Controller and withdraw from the operation.


The Incident Controller is responsible for the safety of deployed SAR resources

If you're the Incident Controller, you're responsible for the safety of the SAR resources you have deployed. You need assurance that the resources you are going to deploy are:

  • appropriately trained
  • equipped for the task.

You can get this assurance from the service-level agreement between the SAR organisation providing the resource and the coordinating authority. Readiness plans should also contain information about actions that are approved by the coordinating authority, such as when specific SAR resources can be immediately activated, mobilised, and deployed.


Be prepared to rescue SAR resources

As Incident Controller, you should have a plan for the recovery or rescue of SAR resources in case they need help.

For marine operations, activate SAR resources capable of rescuing other SAR resources

Do not deploy SAR resources into water unless a SAR resource capable of rescue is also at the scene.

If the operation is over water and you send aircraft as initial SAR resources, you should also activate resources capable of rescuing those initial SAR resources.

For land operations, ensure SAR resources have supplies

If you deploy a team on land, they need to have enough supplies to survive if:

  • the conditions at the scene change
  • they have to remain at the scene for a much longer time than you think it will take for them to complete the task.
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