Responding to SAR callouts

At a general meeting last month there were some questions about the terminology we used for callouts & how to respond.  I can understand the confusion because in the past we used the term “Hasty Team” for something different.

Here is our current usage:

“Assessment Team” – small team (probably 2 people) who get to the reporting party or the area where the incident occurred ASAP and determine what response we should initiate (if any).  Often the reported location is wrong or inaccurate.  If additional resources are required, the Assessment Team will determine where they should stage & what equipment they should bring.

“Hasty Team” – If/when we have a known location and injury, a hasty team will be sent with the equipment.  It’s possible this might be the only response.  An example would be if someone is lost, found by a helicopter search and a ground team is sent to lead them back to a trail head.  It’s also possible that the hasty team is sent to stabilize a patient and is followed by a larger group to perform an extraction.

So it’s possible that an Assessment Team goes out & determines no response is necessary (the lost hunter walks out of the woods while they are interviewing the reporting party).  Or it’s possible that a Hasty Team is our first response (CDOT reported a vehicle just went off the highway at the Overlook & EMS needs assistance getting to the driver).

When a SAR callout is initiated, it would be helpful for the incident command people to know who and how many people are responding.  The assessment team is possibly driving down a forest road while talking on their radio, so do NOT call/text them.   Either call the EOC or use the Active911 app to indicate you are responding.  Do NOT call the EOC to tell them you’re not able to respond.  After you get an Active911 callout it often takes 15-20 minutes to get the EOC staffed, so give them time to get operating before you call.

You can also use the Active911 app to indicate that you are responding.  In the details of the callout you will see some boxes like this:


Press the appropriate one (“Resp” if you are responding, “Avail” if you could respond but aren’t or “Unvl” if you are unavailable.

The assessment team does not monitor Active911 (remember.. they are driving down a forest road talking on their radio) but the EOC does and will update the Incident Command.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *