King County SAR Coordinator Kathy Decker attended the WSSARCA meeting yesterday and relates these highlights of the discussion.

  • The theme of the classes for this year’s Washington State SAR Conference, hosted by Pierce County at Crystal Mountain, will be "Major SAR Operations", those incidents on par with large scale avalanches covering towns, cities, ect. Paul Anderson of Denali National Park in Alaska, will be one of the key note instructors.
  • March 31st is the pre-conference early registration dead line. The price goes up after that date. The conference web site has been recently updated with additional class information.
  • ICS-300 and ICS-400 classes will be offered during the pre-conference.
  • SAR volunteers in leadership roles within Washington State are expected to have completed ICS 200 level classes (along with ICS 100 and 700).
  • SAR volunteers at the Operational Leader level within Washington State are expected to have completed ICS 300.
  • SAR volunteers who are part of the Command Staff within Washington State are expected to have completed ICS 400.
  • Washington State Patrol (WSP) has fixed-air Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) capability on two of their Cessna aircraft. They will assist with SAR incidents on a case by case basis. If a county has a need for them they should call WSP directly to make the request.

Deputy Decker also notes that King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) will be looking at taking the SAR forms we currently use, and attaching the equivalent ICS number to each form. According to Chris Long of Washington State EMD, we are not obligated to use the published ICS forms, we only need to show that we are categorizing the information in-line with ICS. Many of our current forms already meet ICS requirements and would be in compliance with the minor addition.