GISCorps volunteers assist in Search and Rescue pilot project in California, 2012-2014
I volunteered for this mission since we continue to see the need for integrating GIS into emergency services. Search and Rescue (SAR) for wilderness is a key opportunity to work with many local responders who don’t have the skills to support mapping. After attending training I wrote up a project plan to help guide the pilot project, conducted numerous meetings, training sessions for the GISCorps volunteers and interested attendees, presented to the CA SAR Coordinators what GISCorps is and what GIS can do for them, etc. We ran into a couple of snags getting called out to incidents that appear to be soon corrected. The GISCorps team will be sworn in at a ceremony this January 2014 and that should open the door for us to participate in SAR events as well as provide support on state incidents.
While it has been difficult to get recognized by the state, for numerous appropriate reasons, this has been highly rewarding to work with so many dedicated volunteers and colleagues. I look forward to more events and broadening my geospatial network!