Skip to main content

Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Outdoor searches for a missing person

Control measure knowledge

Information gathering

Information about the location of outdoor hazards, including physical features or activities that take place in the area, can be gathered by using:

  • Maps
  • Aerial resources
  • Local knowledge of:
    • Personnel
    • Landowners
    • Other agencies

This information can be used to:

  • Inform risk assessments
  • Communicate the presence of hazards to personnel and other emergency responders
  • Co-ordinate search plans
  • Assist personnel to navigate in the search area
  • Determine if specialist resources are required
  • Identify what medical equipment or resources may be required

Communication

Due to the hazards and complexity of some outdoor searches, communication with all personnel deployed should be maintained and their location continuously monitored, especially if they are carrying out wide-area searches.

Due to the potential distances involved when searching outdoors, consideration should be given to any limitations of communication methods between personnel, other agencies and specialist resources. Contingency arrangements for communications may need to be considered and implemented. Further information can be found in Incident command: Effective communication.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Hold contact information for landowners who manage land with hazardous features or activities

  • Provide access to suitable navigation aids to personnel

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Gather information about the location of outdoor hazards, including physical features or activities that take place in the search area

  • Liaise with landowners who manage land to gain an understanding of hazardous features or activities in the outdoor search area

  • Ensure personnel and other emergency responders are made aware of any hazardous features or activities in the outdoor search area

  • Ensure that communications are maintained when carrying out outdoor searches, and consider putting contingency arrangements in place

  • Consider requesting specialist resources to assist with outdoor searches

  • Continually monitor the location of personnel when searching outdoors, especially if this involves wide-area searches