ASTM Search and Rescue Committee is working on various standards.

Press Release Summary:

Proposed standard ASTM WK33934, Guide for Mountain Search and Rescue Member Level I, will fill existing gap in criteria for National Emergency Responder Credentialing System currently being developed by FEMA. Proposed standard ASTM WK34207, Guide for Helicopter Land Operations Search and Rescue Technician, suits those who have SAR training and want to use their skills in helicopter environment as well as helicopter crewmembers who want to expand SAR skills to support missions from air.

Original Press Release:

ASTM Search and Rescue Committee at Work on Personnel, Training and Education Standards

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.-Subcommittee F32.02 on Personnel, Training and Education is currently at work on several proposed standards. Among these standards are ASTM WK33934, Guide for Mountain Search and Rescue Member Level I (Mtm SAR-LI), and ASTM WK34207, Guide for Helicopter Land Operations Search and Rescue Technician. F32.02 is part of ASTM International Committee F32 on Search and Rescue. All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of F32.

Mountain Search and Rescue
ASTM WK33934 will fill a gap that exists in criteria for a National Emergency Responder Credentialing System that is currently being developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to Tim Kovacs, Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association, and Mike Vorachek, Bonneville County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, FEMA's system will provide guidance for personnel and equipment responding to large-scale incidents and disasters.

"Mountain search and rescue practitioners trained to this proposed standard, once it has been approved, will ideally be able to respond to large scale incidents and disasters more quickly, efficiently and cohesively as a result of having been similarly trained and subsequently credentialed," say Kovacs and Vorachek, who are both F32 members. The proposed standard will also serve as a guide for mountain SAR teams that wish to become compliant with FEMA's National Incident Management System or to maintain NIMS compliance.

Helicopter Land Operations
Proposed new standard ASTM WK34207 will be used by individuals who have SAR training but would like to use their skills in a helicopter environment, and by helicopter crewmembers who would like to expand their SAR skills to support such missions more effectively from the air. Work on the proposed standard is part of the ongoing efforts to create guides that will be used as part of the National Incident Management Systems credentialing requirements.

"Simply put, while people can be trained to perform land search and rescue missions and people can be trained to be part of a helicopter flight crew, this is the first time a standard will be drafted to combine these two skills to ensure an individual supporting a SAR mission has the proper training for both," says Cedric Smith, engineering technician, CMC Rescue Inc., WK34207 task group leader and an F32 committee member. "Once approved, ASTM WK34207 will provide a framework and structure for individuals to safely and effectively perform SAR functions while operating in the helicopter environment."

All members of the SAR community, particularly those who support helicopter missions, are encouraged to join in the development of ASTM WK34207.

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

ASTM Committee F32 Next Meeting: Nov. 6-7, 2011, Fort Collins, Colo., in conjunction with the International Tech Rescue Symposium

Technical Contact: (WK33934) Abigail Gaines, SRA International, Arlington, Va., Phone: 202-421-0257;; (WK34207) David Moskowitz, SRA International, Pender, Va., Phone: 404-808-8912;


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