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 November 2007
Tech News

Search and Rescue Committee Developing Two Proposed Rescue Technician Guides

Two proposed new ASTM International standards are part of the extensive work being done by Committee F32 on Search and Rescue to develop a comprehensive set of standards for search and rescue team training. The proposed new standards, WK15661, Guide for Level I Rope Rescue Technician Endorsement, and WK15503, Guide for Training of Level I Rescue Technician, are both under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F32.02 on Management and Operations.

"WK15503 is directed toward training rescue team members in a general sense and would apply to members of any rescue team that might respond to and provide removal of a patient from a wilderness environment," says Loui McCurley, vice president, Pigeon Mountain Industries and member of F32. McCurley notes that the proposed standard addresses only the rescue component, including packaging and transport over nontechnical terrain.

The other proposed standard, WK15661, outlines the minimum information required for training and evaluating rope rescue technicians. "It is quite rope-specific, but it's only the first level of training for rope rescue personnel," says McCurley. "Additional levels may and should be added at a later date."

In addition to the proposed rescue standards, Committee F32 has developed a search-team specific guide (F 2209, Guide for Training of Level 1 Land Search Team Members) and is at work on a proposed level 2 search team standard. McCurley says that teams that meet all of the search and rescue standards that F32 has developed or is developing will offer more comprehensive training for search team members.

"Rescue in the United States is a multifaceted endeavor that is undertaken by a variety of organizations, ranging from search and rescue teams to law enforcement teams, state and national parks services, fire departments and more," says McCurley. The proposed standards will be beneficial to land rescue teams (such as mountain, wilderness and desert) who operate as sheriff's search and rescue teams, emergency medical services organizations, parks services and teams working to the guidelines of the Mountain Rescue Association or the National Association of Search and Rescue.

Interested participants are welcome to join the standards developing activities of Committee F32. "We always welcome enthusiastic, energetic and constructive participation, especially from professionals and para-professionals in the rescue field," says McCurley. //

Technical Information: Loui McCurley,
Pigeon Mountain Industries,
LaFayette, Ga.
Phone: 888/764-1437

ASTM Staff: Thomas O’Toole
Phone: 610/832-9739

Upcoming Meeting:
Nov. 4-5
Denver, Colo.