What we do

Command:

Operations Support Unit (OSU) Command Operations facilitate Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) operations by tracking personnel, equipment, and resources. Command is also responsible for creating the Snohomish County Sheriff’s documentation for the every mission. Command vehicle staff have no small task and create the same level of professional documentation for every call we take from a broken ankle to a missing child.

Communications:

Our communications ensure that missions go smoothly and safely. Without proper communications between the Sheriff, SNOPAC 911, ground and specialty teams, missions wouldn’t run safely or efficiently. We maintain a dedicated network of VHF radio repeaters to cover back country areas that are generally beyond the reach of cell phones and even the County’s first responder radio network.  Our vehicles are equipped with VHF and 800MHz radios to communicate not only with ground teams but with Snohomish County Sheriff, fire, 911 dispatch, US Forest Service and aircraft from Snohomish County, other counties, Washington State, the Navy and Coast Guard to make sure all parties can coordinate their efforts.

Mapping:

Since many of our operations are in dense forests and not on trails, it is imperative that all teams know where to be and what obstacles they face to remain safe. Since we often use the Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) during missions and receive coordinates from cellular or satellite providers, we also need to translate coordinates into Lat/Lon coordinates used by aircraft and to the USNG coordinates the ground teams use.  The mission maps are constantly updated with the latest clues as the search mission progresses to provide the planner and incident commander the best available information to direct search efforts.

Food:

The most essential of all of our services. The average mission has dozens of volunteers that work hard to bring someones loved one home. Without the hundreds of volunteers many lost or injured people would have an entirely different result. In order for these people to operate at their fullest they need food and drink to keep them going, and to be able to make it safely home. The food truck staff often works for hours straight in order to provide these services to upward of 50 volunteers.  While the truck has a microwave, it is rarely used, the food truck staff cooks a hot meal that the rescuers skipped in order to come out on mission.