The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA)– Law Enforcement Division appreciates your interest in attending our 40-hour, POST certified Direction and Control of the Search Function (“D&C”) courses. We are pleased to offer these courses to California agencies and personnel as it assists us in the pursuit of our goals of improving upon search and rescue (SAR) management effectiveness and efficiency throughout the state. Over 2,000 SAR professionals have graduated from these valuable courses since their inception.
The “D&C” Course concept was initiated by Cal EMA around 1985 with the intent of improving upon search and rescue management statewide. They have continued as dynamic comprehensive courses that focus upon the ever-increasing problem of managing the missing/lost person SAR incident. The main curriculum for these courses are obtained from the National Association of Search and Rescue, "Managing the Lost Person Incident" (MLPI). This publication meets the needs of California search managers facing California SAR problems. These courses are offered free of charge to students as a service from the Cal EMA Law Enforcement Branch. While the course and materials are funded by Cal EMA, the students are responsible for their own lodging and meals while attending the courses. Lodging locations will be secured and recommended at group rates for each course and will be announced on the course flyer.
SEARCH MANAGEMENT COURSE - The Direction and Control of the Search Function, Search Management Course is an intense, 40-hour indoor classroom course that covers all aspects of effective and efficient search management. Graduation from this course is a highly recommended prerequisite to attending the Winter Operations Course. Successful completion of this course requires 100 percent attendance, a passing score of at least 70 percent on the final written exam and successful completion of the progressive 4-day map problem search scenario that ends on the last day of the course. Graduates of the course will receive a California Emergency Management Agency, Direction and Control of the Search Function Course Completion certificate, a Cal EMA Search Management shoulder patch, and a matching lapel pin.
WINTER SAR OPERATIONS COURSE - The Direction and Control of the Search Function, Winter SAR Operations is a 40-hour, mixed classroom instruction and field exercise course that focuses upon the ever-increasing problem of managing severe winter weather SAR incidents. Graduation from the Direction and Control of the Search Function, Search Management Course is strongly recommended prior to attendance in this course. The curriculum for this course focuses solely on the winter environment, has progressed through the years and has been refined to meet the needs of California search managers facing California winter SAR problems. One such focus of the curriculum is controlled outdoor field training exercises to expose the student (SAR managers) to the winter environments that they may face as part of their responsibilities. Along with extensive classroom training, this training encompasses a vast amount of field instruction in over the snow travel, sheltering, winter weather clothing and equipment, and shelter building. This hands on controlled training has proven invaluable in that SAR Managers walk away with knowledge of what can be accomplished in such environments when needed. Successful completion of this course requires 100 percent attendance and successful completion of the field exercises which conclude with a recommended but optional overnight bivouac on the last night of the course. Graduates of the course will receive a California Emergency Management Agency, Direction and Control of the Search Function – Winter SAR Operations Course Completion certificate, a Cal EMA Winter Search Management shoulder patch, and a matching lapel pin.
The Direction and Control of the Search Function Courses are NOT entry-level SAR courses. The courses are designed for field experienced SAR personnel to focus on SAR management issues. Basic SAR knowledge/skills will not be offered during these courses but are highly recommended skills. These courses are intended for agency SAR Coordinators, their alternates or other SAR professionals that will or may be placed in an agency SAR management structure position. As a result, applicants must either be recognized by Cal EMA as being within their jurisdictional SAR coordinator(s) positions of their agency, or communications must be received from the jurisdictional SAR Coordinator(s) indicating approval that the applicant will or may be placed in a SAR management structure position. This communication must occur prior to applicant acceptance. Your SAR Coordinator(s)’ approval on the application is acceptable as is a simple phone call to the Cal EMA State SAR Coordinator/Lead Instructor. This restriction is necessary in order to limit the number of attendees within these popular course offerings to those that will actually be placed within these jurisdictional responsible SAR roles.
The Cal EMA “D&C” courses are held at various locations throughout California. The courses are intense and require basic math and reasoning skills as they pertain to the SAR incident. Applicants should at least possess the minimum following basic SAR awareness or skills: search tactics, map and compass, man tracking, survival, equipment and field SAR experience.
Approved applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The applicant will receive communication from Cal EMA of this acceptance along with a welcome package that includes directions or a map to the training location, lodging availability, course agenda and any other pertinent information. As the attendance to this popular course is limited and applications are denied once the quota is filled, approved applicants are expected to attend. If for any reason an approved applicant is unable to attend, they are expected to notify Cal EMA as soon as practically possible so any applicants placed on a waiting list can fill their vacant spot and the course can proceed with full attendance.
Again, we appreciate your interest in attending the Direction and Control of the Search Function courses. If you meet the above application requirements, we encourage you to apply. You may apply either electronically or by mail. We recommend that you view our training schedule
and apply online
. Fill out the online form and submit or complete the attached application and send it to us. We look forward to having you as a student in our class and working with you. We remain available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have. Please contact us at any time.
SAR Program Assistant
Cal EMA Law Enforcement Division
3650 Schriever Avenue,
Mather, California 95655
(916) 845-8314 fax
Matt Scharper, Deputy ChiefCal EMA Law Enforcement DivisionState SAR Coordinator / Lead Instructor2550 Mariposa Mall, Room B-177Fresno, CA 93721(559) 445-5674 Office(559) 445-5987 Fax(916) 262-1744 24-Hour Matthew.Scharper@calema.ca.gov