Search and rescue/SAR mission 2008 01

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This page is an experiment to see if search and rescue (SAR) responders can teach themselves, by collaboration here on Wikiversity, how to plan a SAR mission. To the extent possible, we will use the Incident Command System (ICS), but only what seems useful. The first step is to find out if a SAR mission is needed, and details about the subject(s). The form used for this in New Mexico is here. More forms are here. Remember, use only what seems useful.

Incident Action Plan status: developing mission objectives. Content for this page is being developed on Talk:Search and rescue missions.

Subject[edit | edit source]

Topo map of Streator IL vicinity; click to zoom in, click again to zoom in still more. This is township and range land, so the squares are 1 mile on a side.

The subject is a 73 year old man missing from Streator, Illinois for about 3 weeks (as of October 13). He is 5' 9", gray hair, beard, blue eyes, 168 pounds. He has no car and Streator has no public transportation. He rides all over town on a royal blue tricycle (trike) with a basket on the rear. He collects aluminum cans from roadside ditches and sells the cans and gives the money to the Baptist Church. He is a lifelong resident of Streator and has 7 adult children.

PLS The subject was last seen on September 24, 2008, a Wednesday. He was seen talking to his trike, it tipped over, in the Aldi parking lot (1725 North Bloomington Street). About 15 minutes later (2:00 p.m.) he was last seen a few blocks north of the Aldi at the Burger King in the 2100 block of North Bloomington Street, riding the trike. He was wearing a tan plaid shirt (or a white T-shirt) and blue jeans.

It is not know what his plans were for that day and there are no accounts of his talking with anyone that day. That day, and for several days afterward, the weather was mild and clear. The following evening, his disappearance was broadcast on the local cable emergency alert system.

Health[edit | edit source]

The subject has epilepsy of long standing. He is not always oriented to place. He may exhibit signs of mental illness such as having God tell him not to wash. Prior to his disappearance he had not been taking his medication related to the epilepsy. Other medical information is unknown.

Tricycle[edit | edit source]

A couple of years ago the subject rode a bicycle from Streator about 60 miles northwest to Princeton.

The last part of June or July, the subject was found on a railroad track near Spring Lake Park (a city park located south of the river between Streator and Kangley). He said that he was hunting mushrooms, that he did not know where his trike was, and that it had gotten "tangled" up and he could not get it out.

He bought a new trike just like the old one.

After the subject and his new trike went missing on Sept 24th, the old trike was found about a half mile from where he was found back in June or July. It was in a ravine, sitting upright. The ravine is directly north about 1/4 mile from Spring Lake Park.

Clues[edit | edit source]

Not yet found[edit | edit source]

Subject's trike resembles this one

Clues include the subject, and anything having to do with him that could be separated from him. Rough priority list of known clues not yet found:

  1. bright blue adult tricycle
  2. the subject
  3. tricycle tracks
  4. tan plaid shirt
  5. blue jeans
  6. man's shoes, average size
  7. footprints, other tracks left by the subject on foot

Although the subject is most important, the tricycle has the highest priority because it is both large and very unusual.

Found[edit | edit source]

  1. Search dog track. A trained tracking dog followed a scent from PLS to about 5 miles north west of Streator, and north west of Kangley, where the dog lost the scent. It tracked north on North Bloomington Street, to west on Oakley Ave, north on the cemetery road, and left(west) on Richard's road(N 17th rd). Then after going less than a mile and a half on N 17th, the dog lost the scent. These are section roads, blacktop with wide mowed ditches.
2002 property map of Eagle and Bruce Townships, Illinois. Magenta highlighter marks (1) X at subject's house in Section 35, (2) line following SAR dog's route from between Sections 23 and 24 northwest to between Sections 4 and 9, and (3) dot at point of recovery in Section 15

Scenarios[edit | edit source]

Scenarios subject to change at any time. Try to list by priority. For ideas, see this SOP for urban search for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Current location[edit | edit source]

  1. The subject is somewhere in the vicinity of where the search dog stopped tracking.
  2. The subject is in the Vermillion River or a tributary creek.
  3. The subject is somewhere in Streator.
  4. The subject is in a bean field or corn field. No action b/c very unlikely, very difficult to search, and harvesting will reveal him.
  5. The subject is not in the vicinity of Streator. No action b/c outside the scope of SAR.

What happened[edit | edit source]

  1. Subject rode his trike until something happened.
  2. Subject left his trike, then something happened.

Either way, it is important to find the trike. The trike allows the subject to move faster than on foot, on roadways or maintained pathways, so the search area is large. On the other hand, the trike cannot easily go some places where the subject could go on foot, thus the trike may have been left behind: left at a fence line, the edge of a creek, a meadow, or a woodlot. Under the scenario that the subject left the trike behind, a search for the trike can focus on edges of areas, not areas. This vastly reduces the search effort required. Once the trike is found, search efforts can focus on areas near the trike. Similarly, under the scenario that the subject did not leave the trike, search efforts can focus on those same edges plus trike-passable travel routes to those edges. Eg, exclude routes beyond trike obstacles such as banks, larger ditches, fences, step-overs, and tall grass or brambles. Search all routes to the point where such an obstacle is found.

Mission scenarios[edit | edit source]

  1. Dog track correct, subject headed for mushroom picking areas in woods along river.
  2. Dog track correct, subject headed for Princeton.
  3. Deduced direction of travel wrong, subject in Streator.

Tasks (draft!)[edit | edit source]

Here generate a list of tasks, to be prioritized and assigned to someone to do. Some of these tasks may never be assigned. Conceptually, tasks are of four kinds: investigation (gather information), containment, search, rescue. At this time, high priorities are investigation and search.

For a visual of the area, type Kangley, Illinois into Google Maps.

Tasks completed[edit | edit source]

  • The evening of the following day, Thursday September 25, Streator police used the cable broadcast emergency alert system to notify residents of the missing man.[1] This generated many leads, most (all?) of which related to a different man who rides a similar trike.
  • The morning of the following Friday, September 26, a story appeared in The Times.[1]
  • The afternoon of the following Friday, September 26, search dogs came from Ottawa and Joliett. The dog from Joliett, with handler Darren Prochaska (Joliet PD), tracked a scent from the PLS north on North Bloomington Street, west on North 15th Road (?), north on East 16th Road past Hillcrest Cemetery, and west on North 17th Road to west of East 15th Road.[2]

Tasks for IC staff[edit | edit source]

  • Identify, contact, and debrief IC staff of prior search efforts.
  • Reconstruct past investigation, continue investigation.
  • Check that the tricycle found in the ravine is the old one lost in June/July, not the new one the subject had at the PLS. If there is any doubt on this point, treat the found tricycle as a very important clue.
  • Check availability of SAR cadaver dogs.
  • Establish POC with all urgent care centers, hospitals, medical centers, medical examiners for a 60 mile radius. Consider also all EMS services, volunteer fire departments, etc., in case the subject was encountered but refused transport.
  • Prepare flyer A of missing tricycle. Use a clear photo of the subject's old tricycle. Focus on the tricycle but include subject mug shot to help disambiguate subject's tricycle from the tricycle with canopy used by the ponytail man (another Streator resident).
  • Prepare flyer B of subject "mug shot", description, and other clues (eg, images of man lying down, man draped in tree, plaid shirt, jeans, shoes).
  • Provide a copy of flyer A and B to every volunteer searcher, to remind them they are searching for clues and the subject himself is one of many clues.

Tasks for field teams[edit | edit source]

  • Hasty search Sandy Ford Natural area (web site and map. It has 170 acres of woodland, good for mushroom hunting.
  • Hasty search trike-passable routes of travel in vicinity of where dog stopped tracking, west to Vermillion River.
  • Cadaver dogs hasty search banks or water of Vermillion River and tributaries, where passable.
  • Post flyers. Flyer B conveys a disturbing idea, so consider posting it only in "adults only" locations: liquor store, bar, hunting supply shop, fish and game office. Post flyers at traffic collection points, especially of foot traffic: gas stations and grocery stores, bridges over the rivers, park entrances, trailheads.
  • Provide flyers to sources of deer hunting equipment and licenses, for them to distribute to customers. Deer hunting season has started and will bring people into the wooded areas. Get out the word.
  • Search all abandoned and infrequently used buildings in Streator.

Outcome[edit | edit source]

Subject and trike found in a corn field that was being harvested. See property map above. The trike was about 15 feet into the corn field just off a grass area between the cornfield and a twenty foot wide area of brush along the river. The remains were found about a quarter of a mile south of the trike in the same corn row.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 [1]
  2. [2]