Unifour K9 Search and Rescue
When Someone Is Lost
There are thousands of lost and
missing persons incidents reported every year in the US.
These include lost and abducted children, missing
outdoor enthusiasts, despondents, Alzheimer patients,
boaters, downed aircraft survivors and others. In 2003,
there were over 320 missing persons incidents recorded
in NC alone. But there were many that never made it into
the record books.
Treat every lost person incident as an Emergency
· Immediately contact your nearest law enforcement agency and follow their instructions.
Time is critical and
you must be prepared to work quickly. Given the rate at
which a person can walk, the search area will expand
exponentially with each passing hour. Consider just how
many square miles of difficult terrain will have to be
searched if the subject is moving at two or three miles
per hour, the direction of travel is unknown, and the
area of the circle is expressed as
· Refrain from handling the lost person's personal articles, such as clothing or bedding, which may be needed to provide scent articles to our canine teams. Better yet, seal off their bedroom until a search team arrives.
· Try to refrain from contaminating the lost person's scent trail, or from destroying footprints or other clues to the person's direction of travel.
· You can probably expect the first officials on the scene to do a hasty search. They will look for initial clues and a direction of travel, and quickly cover high probability areas.
· Additional resources will be called in if necessary, including search dog teams if requested.
· Remember that car exhaust will quickly destroy human scent. Please ask that all motor vehicles be turned off.
· Be prepared to respond to your investigator's questions about the lost person's medical history and personal habits, including their level of experience in the outdoors. They will need you assistance in preparing a Lost Person Questionnaire that will give searchers the information they need to do their job.
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