2021 ASARA State Conference2021 ASARA State Conference

Update May 17, 2021

The Arkansas Search and Rescue Association Board is excited to announce that we will be hosting the 2021 ASARA State Conference Wednesday, June 9 through Sunday, June 13, 2021. The conference will be hosted at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR.

Conference Cost and Information

Conference Cost: $25/day for conference day fee + any course/NASAR fees (see course details) + book(s) (if required) + meals + lodging + any t-shirts ordered

Big News:

The Arkansas Search and Rescue Association has received a donation from an individual who is a very dedicated supporter of Arkansas’ Emergency Responders.  This scholarship donation has been earmarked to pay the NASAR fees for attendees of the National Association of Search and Rescue courses held at our Conference this year.  The courses covered by this scholarship donation are:

  • NASAR Intro to Search and Rescue (ISAR)
  • NASAR Advanced Search and Rescue (ADSAR)
  • NASAR Into to SAR GIS with SARTopo (SARTOPO)
  • NASAR Initial Actions (IA)
  • NASAR Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

The scholarship donation will cover 100 NASAR fees on a first come, first served basis. The scholarships will be automatically applied when your invoice is created until all 100 of the $30 NASAR fee scholarships have been allocated.

NOTE: The scholarships are for Arkansas residents.

NOTE: This scholarship only applies to the NASAR fees — this is not a substitute for your Conference Day Fee or any additional course fees.


Please Note: Class days, cost, and other details are subject to change!


Conference Track Options

You may register for an entire “Track” for the whole conference or you may pick and choose which classes you wish to attend.

“SAR Bootcamp” Track: $185 ($125 conference fees + 2x $30 NASAR fees) + book(s) + any meals & lodging + any t-shirts ordered

  • Wednesday and Thursday: NASAR Introduction to Search and Rescue (ISAR) (16 hrs)
  • Friday: FEMA “An Introduction to the Incident Command System ICS-100” Classroom Course (8 hrs)
  • Saturday: dbS Lost Person Behavior (LPB) (8 hrs)
  • Sunday: NASAR Initial Actions (IA) (8 hrs)

Management Track with Breakouts: $155 ($125 conference fees + $30 NASAR fee) + book(s) + any meals & lodging + any t-shirts ordered

  • Wednesday and Thursday: ERI Initial Actions Incident Command (16 hrs)
  • Friday: NASAR Introduction to SAR GIS with SARTopo (8 hrs)
  • Saturday and Sunday: Your choice of breakout sessions

Management Track with Sat & Sun Classes: $185 ($125 conference fees + 2x $30 NASAR fees) + book(s) + any meals & lodging + any t-shirts ordered

  • Wednesday and Thursday: ERI Initial Actions Incident Command (16 hrs)
  • Friday: NASAR Introduction to SAR GIS with SARTopo (8 hrs)
  • Saturday: dbS Lost Person Behavior (LPB) (8 hrs)
  • Sunday: NASAR Initial Actions (IA) (8 hrs)

Field Track: $275 ($125 conference fees + $30 class fee + 2x $30 NASAR fee) + book(s) + any meals & lodging + any t-shirts ordered

  • Wednesday: Rope Rescue Awareness (8 hrs)
  • Wednesday Evening: Water Rescue Awareness (2 hrs)
  • Thursday and Friday: NASAR Wilderness First Aid (WFA) (16 hrs)
  • Saturday and Sunday: NASAR Advanced Search and Rescue (ADSAR) (16 hrs)


Course Information

NASAR Introduction to Search and Rescue (ISAR) Course

  • 16 hours
  • Cost: $80 (2x $25 conference day fees + $30 NASAR fee)
  • Days: Wednesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 10
  • Lead Instructor: Melissa Deatherage
    • Phone: 479-221-7773
    • E-mail: melissa . sar2020 @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • NASAR Introduction of Search and Rescue textbook (Available from NASAR bookstore)
    • pencil or pen
    • highlighter
    • note pad
    • NOTE: Do not purchase a compass for the class, but if you have one already, bring it for show and tell.
  • Course Description:

ISAR is the first course in a stepping stone approach to higher-level NASAR courses of training for emergency personnel. It provides a common starting point in training for the new person to SAR and in many cases, an excellent refresher course for the more experience SAR worker. This common starting point provides continuity during SAR operations and future training of all team members.  It provides the general responsibilities, skills, abilities and equipment needed by persons who perform SAR activities.

There are no prerequisites for this course. 

This class provides responders of all  disciplines and agencies with basic training to provide them with knowledge and skills to effectively contribute to a SAR Mission. 

Recommended for: LEOs, Fire fighters, EMTs, SAR team members, Dispatchers, NGOs who support SAR missions. 

Topics covered include: Search Management; Land Navigation and Orienteering; Search Theory; Search Tactics; etc 

For a comprehensive description check the NASAR website at http://www.nasar.org/education/courses/introduction-to-sar/


Emergency Response International (ERI) Search Management for the Initial Response Incident Commander (IRIC)

  • 16 hours
  • Cost: $50 (2x $25 conference day fees)
  • Days: Wednesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 10
  • Lead Instructor: Fred Mullen
    • Phone: 479-209-0818
    • E-mail: fred . sar2020 @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Please contact Fred at phone or e-mail above to obtain course books
      • ERI IRIC Text
      • ERI FOG
      • Exercise Packet
  • Course Description:

(NOTE: Though this class title refers to Incident Commander, this is an excellent class the entire Search Management Staff and Agency Supervisor’s who administer SAR efforts.)

This class is designed for Responders who have the duty to provide appropriate search methods to the report of a Lost, Missing, or Overdue person. These personnel will be the Initial Operations Search Managers.  Its scope is twofold: #1 upon arriving on scene to begin actions that will quickly locate or contain the Missing Person, and,  #2 In the case the MP is not quickly located, be able to provide the Extended Operations Search Managers with succinct and accurate notes that depict what areas have been searched; what clues have been located; what leads have been established; suggestions for additional search effort; resources on scene and what has been ordered; etc—this is essentially the information you need to most effectively complete your ICS 201 form.  You will be shown a Information Gathering, Analysis and Task Creation process developed from the International Association of  Chiefs of Police known as the Incident Response Process. This process does not replace nor interfere with our NIMS usage—it greatly accentuates it by providing easy to use SAR specific note taking and planning documents  including Action Item Checklist.

Suggested Audience: Patrol LEOs and Supervisors; SAR Team Search Managers; Park Supervisors; etc 

If you have questions, please contact the Instructor, Fred Mullen at 479-209-0818. (NOTE: There similarities between the ERI IRIC  and the NASAR IA . They both use current Best Practices for Initial Actions  Incident Action Plans. The NASAR class does not include the Note Taking/Planning Docs packet. They are both excellent classes.  Fred Mullen)


Rope Rescue Awareness

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $25 ($25 conference day fee)
  • Days: Wednesday, June 9
  • Lead Instructor: Hare Mountain Rescue; Point of contact is David Sutter
    • Phone: 479-739-3862
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Eye protection
    • Gloves
    • Boots
    • Tubular webbing
    • If you have a harness and climbing helmet or wildland fire helmet, please bring them.
  • Course Description:

Our Rope Rescue Awareness is a course for every emergency responder. We teach real world skills that will assist emergency responders to use rope to access, stabilize and evacuate the victim and themselves.
All equipment is provided by Hare Mountain Rescue although departments or teams are welcome to use the equipment provided by their respective teams. We teach basic knots and when and how to use them. We explain when and why to use ropes and rope systems. We use hands on training to share the skills needed to build an anchor, access the victim and secure the victim to a basket and safely remove the victim out of the danger zone.
All of our information is based off of real-world missions that we have been involved in. Together our team of instructors put in over 2000 hours of technical rescue training per year. We constantly update our courses to provide the best training with the most modern equipment, but we never forget our basics and the tried and true methods.
We feel that this course would be valuable to all FD, EMS, SAR, Game and Fish, Forestry and LEO responders. It is our hope that we will be given the chance to share what we have learned to assist others.
So that when the time comes, they can be safe and successful.


Water Rescue Awareness

  • 2 hours
  • Cost: No additional fee if also attending a day class on Wednesday, June 9. $25 for Conference Day Fee if only attending this evening class
  • Days: evening of Wednesday, June 9
  • Lead Instructor: Hare Mountain Rescue; Point of contact is David Sutter
    • Phone: 479-739-3862
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Needed equipment will be furnished by Hare Mountain Rescue
  • Course Description:

Our Water Rescue Awareness course is built around a basic fact, 80% of all successful water rescues are shore based. This means that the other 20% includes boat access, helo access and someone actually going in the water to rescue the victim.
Water Rescue Awareness teaches to stay out of the water and use the training received to make the best possible decision to assist the victim. It also teaches when a more advanced skill set is required for a safe and successful rescue.
It’s our goal to get this info out to all of those who may be called to assist someone in need near or in the water.
Hare Mountain Rescue provides all of the equipment needed for the course. We will also assist with equipment purchases and do a safety check on any water rescue equipment you may have.


NASAR Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

  • 16 hours
  • Cost: $110 (2x $25 conference day fees + $30 class fee + $30 NASAR fee)
  • Days: Thursday, June 10 – Friday, June 11
  • Lead Instructor: Tom Burroughs
    • E-mail: swiftwater rescue @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Wilderness First Aid book by Steve Donelan (Available from NASAR bookstore)
    • There will be field sessions so dress accordingly
  • Course Description:

Our Wilderness First Aid (WFA) trains you to understand and avoid wilderness hazards and to do emergency care in the wilderness or anywhere, with whatever equipment you have or can improvise. It also prepares you for disaster situations, when emergency medical services and hospitals are overwhelmed or inaccessible.  This course is designed to help you make logical and causal connections (not just memorize lists of signs, symptoms and treatment) so that you understand what you are doing. How do the body systems work? What can go wrong with them because of injury, environmental stress, or a medical condition? How can you tell what the problems are? What can you do to treat the problems and stabilize the patient when you are far from help?

There are no perquisites.  For a comprehensive description check the NASAR Wilderness Emergency Care website at http://www.wildernessemergencycare.org/wfa-courses/


NASAR Introduction to SAR GIS with SARTopo Course

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $55 ($25 conference day fee + $30 NASAR fee)
  • Days: Friday, June 11
  • Lead Instructor: Klay Rowbotham
    • Phone: 479-970-6542
    • E-mail: sar @ klayanderin . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Highly Recommended: Laptop with external mouse highly recommended.
    • Recommended: Lost Person Behavior: A search and rescue guide on where to look – for land, air and water (Book or “Lost Person Behavior” mobile app)
      • Book is available from dbs-sar.com, NASAR bookstore, Amazon, and other sources
      • Mobile app is available from Google Play Store or Apple Store
  • Course Description:

The NASAR Introduction to SAR GIS with SARTopo course will help show you how to get started using the on-line mapping tool SARTopo to help address the geo-spatial problems involved with a search and rescue incident. The class will cover from basic usage of SARTopo to using it to help create task assignments and manage a SAR incident. Attendees are highly encouraged to bring a laptop so they can follow along throughout the course. An external mouse is also highly recommended as well as a notepad and pen/pencil. It is also recommended to have a copy of the Lost Person Behavior book or smartphone app available for use during mock scenarios.


FEMA “An Introduction to the Incident Command System ICS-100” Classroom Course

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $25 ($25 conference day fee)(NOTE: this is a conference day fee and not a fee for this class)
  • Days: Friday, June 11
  • Lead Instructor: James Mason
    • Phone: 479-228-2165
    • E-mail: james is retired @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Required text will be provided electronically
  • Course Description:

ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  The target audience includes persons involved with emergency planning, and response or recovery efforts.


dbS Lost Person Behavior (LPB)

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $25 ($25 conference day fee)
  • Days: Saturday, June 12
  • Lead Instructor: Walter Jennings
    • Phone: 479-200-7628
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Lost Person Behavior: A search and rescue guide on where to look – for land, air, and water (Book or “Lost Person Behavior” mobile app)
      • Book is available from dbs-sar.com, NASAR bookstore, Amazon, and other sources
      • Mobile app is available from Google Play Store or Apple Store
  • Course Description:

During the Second World War, allied naval forces used the statistical models developed by Bernard Koopman to locate enemy sub-marines.  This was the beginning of modern search theory.  During the 1970’s, William Syrotuck began to accumulate information regarding distances traveled, and others, of missing persons and categorized by age and activity.  In subsequent years, other search managers/researches refined the process.  Then in the 1990s, Robert Koester (with funding from NASA, DHS, DOD, USDA, and others) who led a small group of researchers in the development of the International Search and Rescue Database (ISRID).  ISRID has gathered and analyzed thousands of missing person cases from many American States, Europe and New Zeeland.  This data includes the original concept of median distance traveled factors along with many, many more such as: uphill or downhill; duration of mobility; dispersion angles; track offset; and, others. The database contains 41 categories of missing, lost and overdue persons arranged by: age (children); activity (hiking, boating, hunting, ATV riders, etc); special needs population (mental illness, dementia, autism); etc. The LPB Class is an introduction to ISRID and how to use it to decide ‘Where do I go look?”  Attendees will learn about using the database as organized in Koester’s Guidebook Lost Person Behavior. The book provides for each category:  suggested investigative questions; reflexive tasking ideas; survival projections; etc  The influence of consumer technology(cell phones, GPS, etc) is introduced.  

The book and/or smart phone app are required for the class.  The book can be purchased at (as well as at other sources):


NASAR Advanced Search and Rescue (ADSAR) Course

  • 20 hours
  • Cost: $80 (2x $25 conference day fees + $30 NASAR fee)
  • Days: Saturday, June 12 – Sunday, June 13
    • Includes night session Saturday night starting around 21:00
  • Lead Instructor: Kathy Nunez
    • E-mail: kathy . nunez . sar @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • NASAR Advanced Search and Rescue textbook (Available from NASAR bookstore)
    • pen or pencil
    • highlighter
    • notepad (for classroom use)
    • 24 hour pack
    • night navigation gear (orienteering compass, grid reader, light, etc)
    • pocket notepad (for field use)
    • Minimum PPE: Eye Protection, whistle, reflective vest, field grade clothing and shoes, water bottle/bladder bag
  • Course Prerequisites:
    • The Fundamentals of Search and Rescue course and SARTECH II level of certification are recommended
    • Introduction to Incident Command Course or the (NIMS) IS-200 series course are recommended
  • Course Description:

Advanced Search and Rescue (ADSAR)  is designed to educate the experienced field searcher in preparation for working as a crew leader on a search. This course expands on the knowledge and skills taught in the intermediate level FUNSAR course. Beginning with expanded management concepts, crew tactics, crew and SAR dog tactics, crew safety skills, and continuing through stress management, the course focuses on the added responsibility of a crew leader and how this relates to the crewmembers, search managers, and the outcome of the search. 

There are no prerequisites for this class; however, The Fundamentals of Search and Rescue course and SARTECH II level of certification are recommended as well as the Introduction to Incident Command Course or the (NIMS) IS-200 series course are recommended. (NOTE: If you have no NIMS training or want a refresher, the Conference is also presenting a NIMS ICS 100 Class on Fri Jun 11.  This class is from the updated more comprehensive version. Consider taking this class to help prepare you for the AdSAR Class. Please check the Class Description.)

For a comprehensive description check the NASAR website at http://www.nasar.org/education/courses/advanced-sar/


Orientation to Light Structure Collapse

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $25
  • Days: Saturday, June 12
  • Lead Instructor / Point of Contact: Robert Shepherd
    • Phone: 501-681-4573
    • E-mail: shepherdr @ wind stream . net (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Job aid book (Available at conference check-in for $15.00)
    • MUST HAVE:
      • Durable long pants
      • Long sleeve shirt
      • Sturdy work boots
      • Hard hat
      • Hearing protection
      • Eye protection
      • Leather work gloves
      • 16 oz+ framing hammer
      • 30 foot+ tape measure
      • Speed square
      • Carpenter’s pencil
      • Sharpie marker
  • Course Description:

This class is a basic introduction to the FEMA Type 3 Structural Collapse Incident and is derived from the NFPA 1670 Standards.  Although this is an Orientation Level class, there is a significant “HANDS ON” portion included. In a disaster event—flood, tornado, earthquake—buildings of all sizes and qualities of construction will be impacted.  We have all seen the damage to light wooden and metal structures—most of us have responded to this Kind/Type call.  Heavy rescue units will be tied up responding to multi-story structures.  Responding to the residential and light commercial areas will be our assignments.  We need training and techniques beyond CERT (Type4).  So, what NOW?  We need an action plan that will allow us to use common materials and tools we already have and know how to use.  This class is the starting point to answer this question. 

  • Topics included:
    1. Recognizing the Hazards and Challenges
    2. Shoring and cribbing
    3. PPE, Equipment, Supplies List
    4. Cutting Steel
    5. Lifting and moving debris
    6. Others

NASAR Initial Actions (IA) Course

  • 8 hours
  • Cost: $25
  • Days: Sunday, June 13
  • Lead Instructor: Fred Mullen
    • Phone: 479-209-0818
    • E-mail: fred . sar2020 @ gmail . com (be sure to remove spaces)
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Class Materials:
    • Lost Person Behavior: A search and rescue guide on where to look – for land, air and water (Book or “Lost Person Behavior” mobile app)
      • Book is available from dbs-sar.com, NASAR bookstore, Amazon, and other sources
      • Mobile app is available from Google Play Store or Apple Store
    • NASAR Initial Actions For Search & Rescue Missions Guide (Available from NASAR bookstore)
    • Recommended: NASAR Response Pocket Guide (Available from NASAR bookstore)
    • Pen or pencil
    • Notepad
    • Map grid reader
  • Course Description:

Have you ever been one of the first personnel to arrive at a Missing Person (MP) call? If you haven’t your time will come. You will ask yourself these questions and many others— “What can I do right now with the resources I have on scene to help find this child?” “What information do I immediately need to obtain?” “Where is the Missing Person most likely located?” “What resources and how many do I need?” This is the class that will help you answer those questions.

Target Audience: LEOs, Firefighters, SAR Teams, and Park and Forestry staff.

Topics will include:

  • SIZE UP—what has happened? What do I need to do?
  • REFLEXIVE TASKING—this strategy provides you with tactical applications that very often find the MP fairly quickly or produce clues and leads that helps you determine where you need to look next. Perhaps, most importantly, it may help you eliminate some of the MPs risk of peril due to hazards in the area.
  • ESTABLISH CONFINEMENT—This search strategy is designed to help prevent the MP from traveling greater distances from the Last Know Point (LKP). Remember, if you don’t know the Direction of Travel (DOT) of the Missing Persons, the search area expands exponentially relative to the distance traveled(Example, if the MP goes one mile, the Search Area is 3.14 square miles; If 2 miles, the search area becomes about 12.5 square miles.
  • ATTRACTION—Using Light and Sound to lead the MP to your searchers. Highly effective tactic when applied correctly. Confusing and frustrating for everyone when poorly applied. Let’s get it right and go home sooner rather than later.

Breakout Session Information

Breakout Sessions on Saturday:

  • 08:00-09:45 “Mission Weather”
  • 10:00-12:00 “Really Good Drone Stuff”
  • 13:00-14:45 “Command and Tactical Radio Commo”
  • 15:00-17:00 “Smartphone Apps for SAR: SARTopo and Avenza”
  • 10:00-10:45 Arkansas US&R Task Force 1 Briefing
  • 11:00-14:00 Arkansas US&R Task Force 1 Equipment Display and Demonstration
  • 11:00-13:00 Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) SAR Equipment Display and Demonstration

Breakout Sessions on Sunday:

  • 08:00-09:45 “Field Observations: Methods, Techniques, and Equipment”
  • 10:00-11:45 “Field Team Leader”
  • 13:00-14:45 “Staging Area Management”
  • 15:00-17:00 “Wilderness First Aid Best Practices”
  • 08:00-09:45 “Management: Effective Utilization of Canine Resources”
  • 10:00-11:45 “K9 Case Studies: Lessons Learned”
  • 13:00-14:45 “Working with K9s in the Field/Flanking”
  • 15:00-17:00 “Getting Started with a Search Canine: Important Considerations”

Other Conference Features:

  • Thursday Evening: Arkansas Search and Rescue Association General Membership Meeting and Election (Note: Must be a member of a current ASARA member team to attend)
  • Friday Evening: Arkansas National Guard / AR US&R Task Force 1 Briefing and Helicopter Demonstration Update: The helicopter demo has been canceled for unforeseen circumstances. We are still working on getting confirmation on a replacement.
  • Saturday Evening: Banquet with Guest Speaker, Awards, and Door Prizes

Lodging and Meals

On-campus lodging is available in Nutt Hall Tuesday, June 08 – Saturday, June 12: $25 per Night

Virtual Tour of a Nutt Hall Dorm Room – https://youtu.be/Wu-qpW6mn9s

Attendees will need to provide their own linens.
No alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or pets are allowed.
You may also secure your own lodging off-campus if you prefer.

Please Note: The fees for meal tickets and lodging are in addition to the conference day fees and any other fees you may have.

Meal Tickets for Chambers Cafeteria are available:

Wednesday through Saturday: $25 / day

  • Includes Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for selected days

Sunday: $15

  • Includes Breakfast and Lunch only

Please Note:

  • No meals are available for the evening of Tuesday June 8. You will be responsible for your own meal.
  • You can choose to get a Meal Ticket or eat around town on your own.
  • You may choose to pay cash at the door for individual meals at Chambers Cafeteria.
  • Morning Briefings with last minute announcements and schedule changes will be during breakfast in Chambers Cafeteria at 07:35 each morning.

Total Cost for the Conference will vary depending on which classes you choose to attend, meal ticket, lodging, and any cost associated with optional extras such as ASARA T-shirt purchases.


Registration Deadline is Sunday, May 23 by 23:59.

Late Registrations will be available after May 23 with an additional $20 late registration fee and no guarantee of room availability.


On-line Conference Registration Form


If your team enjoys having events such as our State Conference, please consider having your team join ASARA to help support our efforts. Please see the Membership page for information.


Please check back here or follow our Facebook Page for updates.

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2020 ASARA State Conference2020 ASARA State Conference

Update April 6, 2020

The Arkansas Search and Rescue Association Board has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Arkansas Search and Rescue Association State Conference in June this year due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking into the possibility of trying to sponsor some smaller events this fall, depending on how the current situation evolves over the next few months. We will update everyone as new information becomes available.


Please check back here or follow our Facebook Page for updates.

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