Preparing for a search and rescue mission

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A mobile search and rescue training lab sits parked at the Hocking College School of Public Safety Services Training Center.

Thursday afternoon, the next generation of rescuers who will go out and find missing people trained at the college.

According to Larry Hatem, an instructor at the college, the key in any search and rescue mission is really knowing the ins and outs of the person you’re searching for.

“The victim’s the most important piece, and their families,” Hatem said.

That means knowing everything there is to know about the person who has vanished before you set out to find them.

Haten has led many search missions during his years working in law enforcement and fire.

He now leads multiple search and rescue training missions every year to help prepare first responders.

“If I’m the incident commander, if I’m the fire chief or I’m the sheriff. I’m responsible for my personnel out there,” he shared.

And, he would be responsible for keeping documentation of who is where at different times. It is a responsibility that can be challenging in areas where technology doesn’t work because of poor cell service.

“A good incident commander will have everything in a resource packet.”

Meaning that even if technology goes dark, search and recovery crews should still be able to depend on preplanning and maps to help guide them safely to the missing person and then back to the staging area. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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