Welcome to START

START is a library of SAR knowledge and experience for practical SAR people. We hope you find the information it contains useful and relevant.

The information contained within START is willingly shared under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike Creative Commons Licence. This means you may share and build upon our work non-commercially, as long you credit NZSAR and license your new creations under the identical terms.

Creative Commons License

Please select a START category below to begin

  • SAR Coordination and Support

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    • Cospas-Sarsat

      The International Cospas-Sarsat Programme is a satellite-based search and rescue (SAR) distress alert detection and information distribution system, best known for detecting and locating emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships and backcountry hikers in distress.

    • NZ SAR Structure

      The NZ Search and Rescue sector is made up of many diverse organisations and entities that operate to provide NZ's operational response capability.

    • The Rescue Coordination Centre

      The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand is responsible for coordinating all Category II search and rescue operations within the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region.

  • SAR Response Management

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    • CIMS

      New Zealand's Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) is the framework for consistent principles, structures, functions, processes and terminology for SAR agencies to apply in an operation.

    • SAR Leadership

      These resources provide information that supports leadership for a SAR operation.

    • Family Liaison

      The role of Family Liaison Officers and their interaction with family members plays an important part in SAR operations.

    • Investigative Interviewing

      Investigative interviewing is a fundamental skill for SAR personnel to obtain and complete, accurate and reliable information.

    • T-Cards

      T-Cards are a process and system record, account for and report the status of resources during a SAR operation.

  • SAR Exercising

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    • How We Run a Mass Rescue Exercise

      This video highlights how a mass rescue exercise is carried out.

    • How Responders Work in a Mass Rescue

      This video highlights how responders work in a mass rescue exercise.

    • RCCNZ Mass Rescue Response

      This video highlights how the Rescue Coordination Centre responds to a mass rescue event.

  • Marine Search Area Determination

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    • Marine Search Area Determination Introduction

      This section contains a series of short video clips for Marine Search Area Determination, broken down by task. 

    • Evaluating the Situation

      This video demonstrates facts and factors required when evaluating a marine SAR situation. 

    • Determining the Datum

      This video describes the basics of determining the current position (Datum) of the target you are searching for.

    • Total Water Current

      This video describes the effect of water currents on a search object.

    • Leeway

      This video explains the effect of wind (Leeway) on a search object.

    • Ways to Define a Search Area

      This video highlights useful methods used to define Search Areas.

    • SARMAP

      This video demonstrates the use of computer modeling for Search Planning. It focuses primarily on software called SARMAP.

    • Multiple Winds and Currents

      This video describes the use of Multiple Winds and Multiple Water Currents information in Search Planning.

  • Marine Search Area Coverage

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    • Selecting the Search Pattern

      The section contains a series of short video clips for marine search area coverage, broken down by task. 

    • Types of Search Patterns

      This video demonstrates the types of search patterns for a marine search.

    • Defining Search Pattern Parameters

      This video demonstrates search pattern parameters.

    • Search Pattern Calculations

      This video explains the calculations required for search pattern planning.

  • Marine SAR

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    • Marine SAR Technical

      This section contains three dcouments to further support Marine Search Area Determination and Search Area Coverage.

    • Lifeboat Beach Landing - MA1003

      This short video demonstartes the landing and offloading of passengers from a lifeboat during an exercise.

  • Aviation SAR

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    • Roles and Responsibilities of an Air Observer

      This section contains resources that support the Air Observer training and understanding.

    • Maps and Charts

      This video explains the type and functionality of maps and charts.

    • Safety Around Aircraft

      This video explains safety rules for working around aircraft.

    • Human Factors

      This video explains the role of human factors in the role of an air observer.

    • Search Planning

      This video explains the development of search plans and search planning process for aviation searches.

  • Land SAR

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    • Radio Communications

      These resources relate to the use of radio communications for land SAR operations.

    • Extended Search Management

      These resources support training and refresher training in Extended Search Planning.

    • Avalanche Awareness

      RECCO® SAR technology is designed specifically to perform rapid searches for missing people in the outdoors year-round.

    • Missing Person Behaviour

      These resources provide information related to the lost person behaviour.

    • Tracking Core Skills

      These resources support training for Tracking Core Skills.

    • Searching Suburban Environment

      These resources support training and refesher training in suburban searching.

    • Search Techniques

      These resources support training and refresher training in search techniques.

    • Processing Wilderness Clue Sites

      Resource material that supports training and refresher training in processing clues from a wilderness site.

    • Tracking in the Wilderness

      These resources support training and refresher training for tracking in the wilderness environment.

    • The Initial Response

      These resources relate to the initial phase of a land search.

  • SARdonyx

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    • SARdonyx Introduction

      SARdonyx is the SAR sector operation recording and reporting syste. These videos explain aspects of the SARdonyx system for users.

    • Entering Incident Information

      This video is about how to enter a new incident into SARdonyx.

    • Reporting and Search Functions

      This video provides an overview of how to generate reports.

    • SARdonyx LandSAR Users

      This video describes how LandSAR users contribute to SARdonyx. 

  • Specific Technical Tips

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    • SAR Resources Database

      The NZ SAR Resources database is set up to assist emergency services and those involved in SAR operations. It is password protected.