Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Members of Kugluktuk’s Ranger patrol share lessons learned from their involvement in SAR.

Community SAR responders in the Kitikmeot have tremendous experience conducting search and rescue operations in their communities. This site seeks to collect their knowledge and produce a list of lessons learned and best practices for all individuals, groups, and agencies involved with SAR in the North.

Collecting lessons learned is an essential best practice. Discussing challenges and solutions after a search can lead to significant improvements – turning lessons observed into lessons learned can have a major impact. “When we have taken the time to talk about searches, and how they have gone, we’ve learned a lot,” one participant summarized. Whenever possible the results of a search should be analyzed: Where did it occur? What challenges were encountered? Solutions? How could we operate better? After every search, community SAR groups should consider holding a sharing circle, led by elders, to allow for debriefing, discussion of lessons learned, and critical incident stress management. Communities should also consider holding meetings after every search to: (a) explain the search to the whole community, (b) share lessons learned, and (c) educate community members.

This list will be consistently updated as community responders share new information and ideas. For now, check out lessons learned and best practices in: Organization, Coordination, and Preparation; GSAR Training; Conducting a Search: GSAR; Conducting a Search: Marine SAR; Hamlet and RCMP Support; Preventative SAR; and Mass Rescue Operations.

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