In November of 2016, SAR partnered with the Sheriff’s Aero Squadron for communications training. Our SAR Aero Team worked with the squadron at the airport and in the air. One of our goals for the day was to communicate coordinates and bearings from the Incident Command Post to the airplane to direct them to our mobile ground teams. And conversely, Aero also directed our ground teams to locations on the ground.
We also worked on spotting people on the ground from the plane. This was a good lesson. The spotter in the plane was unable to see the two guys in plain clothes in an open area until they used a signal mirror. Only our team members in bright orange SAR uniforms were able to be seen from the plane without other visual aids. This is good to know if you are ever relying on SAR support from the air. Big, bright, and flashy will greatly increase your chances of being spotted!