Erik Swanson


Erik Swanson

Erik Swanson is a seven-year member of King County Explorer Search & Rescue in Washington State.  King County has a particularly active volunteer SAR organization which responds to over 150 missions each year.  Erik actively participates as a field responder, but is equally likely to be found in command working as Operations Leader or Planning Chief.  He has served as an instructor for litter packaging and transport, as well as for winter travel skills.  Erik has taught at the Washington State SAR Conference and presented at the annual FORF Seminar in Oslo. He has a particular interest in search missions, and is as a member of the new Washington State SAR Planning Unit.  The WSSPU was created to provide search planning efforts in support of multiple-operational-period searches statewide, and became operational this year.

Strategies for the use and management of spontaneous volunteers

13 Oct 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

The use of untrained volunteers on an active search greatly increases the challenges faced by the search managers, and taxes the logistical and operational resources. Nevertheless, the use of untrained searchers is sometimes an operational necessity, and the manager needs to approach this situation with a solid plan. Grounded in experience gained on a multiple-operational-period search in King County, Washington, which had heavy community involvement (including over 120 community volunteers on a single day), this presentation makes practical recommendations for both planning and operations, aiming to maximize safety, communications, accountability, and community relations.