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The Callout Process

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In California, the County Sheriff has responsibility for finding persons missing in the non-urban areas of their jurisdiction. To do this, most counties maintain their own SAR team, composed of both paid deputies and SAR volunteers. After an unsuccessful initial search, the County will ask for assistance through mutual aid from other counties or agencies in the state. Cal-ESAR is one of these agencies.

Cal-ESAR's involvement in an operation begins with an initial phone call from the State Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento. The Cal-ESAR Operations Staff member receiving the call gets the information needed, and then alerts the rest of the Cal-ESAR membership. To do this, we send a SMS giving all the details of the operation. Members are expected to reply to that SMS within 30 minutes if they can respond or not. A web page URL is also provided in that SMS that provides additional details such as: ICP location, briefing time, summary details on the subject and members also responding if you want to work out car pools.

Members that respond to a call out send a SMS notifying the Cal-ESAR Home Coordinator when they leave home for the ICP. When a mission is complete,  members send a SMS that they are back at home and are out of service.

Simplifying the Process 
As a member responding on SARs, there are a number of things you can do to make the process run more smoothly. These things are outlined below:

  • Be prepared for an operation at any time. This means that your pack is packed, your uniform is clean, there is gas in your car, and your food cache is stocked and ready for use.
  • Keep you phone on throughout the night and next to you where you can hear it.
  • Let others in your household know when you are on-call. Let them know what to expect and what to do when we call you at 3:30 in the morning! And yes, we do know what time it is, and that you are probably in bed.
  • Be at the ICP/briefing location at the appointed time. Let someone know if your plans have changed!
  • Remember, parents and house mates are even less cheery at 3:30 a.m. when they have just been awakened needlessly.