Free “How to Search” Training Guides are Now Available for SAR Personnel

I wanted to make everyone aware of a free resource (with no commercial agenda) that is now available to the Search and Rescue (SAR) community. This is a project that was developed by members of the SAR community who simply have the desire to make SAR personnel more effective searchers. The web site is supported through an endowment.

International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Alliance Training Library

The Frank Parker Training Library[1] is made up of a set of structured instructional modules designed to be used by Training Officers to help them to train personnel in “how to search”.

These modules have been crafted by Dave Perkins and Pete Roberts, the fathers’ of “critical separation” and other innovative search field skills.

All the documents in this training library are free.

Visit the ISAR Alliance web site at  and click on “Training Library”:
The aim of these training modules are to achieve certain “how to search” proficiencies. 

These proficiencies include:

  • Understanding of the different phases of an incident, and an awareness of the type of searching used in each phase
  • Overview of the fundamentals of the visual process
  • Awareness of the effect of an object’s color in searching for that object in daylight and at night
  • Appreciation of the different types of lighting used for searching at night, and an understanding of how they should be used
  • Understanding of the individual skills and the group skills required to search a route as a member of a small field team in daylight and at night
  • Understanding of how to find Critical Separation in the field, to be aware of what affects it has, and to understand how to find a suitable location for its determination
  • Understanding of grid searching, an understanding of the skills required to operate as a member of a grid search team, and an awareness of its limitations
  • Appreciation of why purposeful wandering is necessary, and an understanding of how to do it
  • Appreciation of why sub-sectoring can be necessary, and an understanding of how to be a member of a small search team that uses it

[1] This training library was made possible by a donation from the estate of the late Frank Parker.


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