Search and Rescue
Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Requirement 1: Do the following:
Requirement 1a: Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter while participating in search and rescue (SAR) activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
Requirement 1b: Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in SAR activities, including: snakebites, dehydration, shock, environmental emergencies such as hypothermia or heatstroke, blisters, and ankle and knee sprains.
Requirement 2: Demonstrate knowledge to stay found and prevent yourself from becoming the subject of a SAR mission.
Requirement 2a: How does the buddy system help in staying found and safe?
Requirement 2b: How can knowledge of the area and its seasonal weather changes affect your plans?
Requirement 2c: Explain how the Ten Essentials are similar to a "ready pack."
Requirement 3: Discuss the following with your counselor:
Requirement 3a: The difference between *search* and *rescue*
Requirement 3b: The difference between *PLS (place last seen)* and *LKP (last known point)*
Requirement 3c: The meaning of these terms:
Requirement 3c1: AFRCC (Air Force Rescue Coordination Center)
Requirement 3c2: IAP (Incident Action Plan)
Requirement 3c3: ICS (Incident Command System)
Requirement 3c4: Evaluating search urgency
Requirement 3c5: Establishing confinement
Requirement 3c6: Scent item
Requirement 3c7: Area air scent dog
Requirement 3c8: Briefing and debriefing
Requirement 4: Find out who in your area has authority for search and rescue and what their responsibilities are. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain the official duties of a search and rescue team.
Requirement 5: Working with your counselor, become familiar with the Incident Command System. You may use any combination of resource materials, such as printed or online. Discuss with your counselor how features of the ICS compare with Scouting's patrol method.
Scouts who have already completed the original requirement 5 as published in the current *Search and Rescue merit badge pamphlet need not redo this updated requirement in order to earn the badge.*
Requirement 6: Identify four types of search and rescue teams and discuss their use or role with your counselor. Then do the following:
Requirement 6a: Interview a member of one of the teams you have identified above, and learn how this team contributes to a search and rescue operation. Discuss what you learned with your counselor.
Requirement 6b: Describe the process and safety methods of working around at least two of the specialized SAR teams you identified above.
Requirement 6c: Explain the differences between wilderness, urban, and water SARs.
A Note About Unauthorized and Restricted Activities
The BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting states under "Unauthorized and Restricted Activities" that flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission is an unauthorized activity for youth members. For complete information, see BSA'a Scouting Safely web page.
Requirement 7: Discuss the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system, latitude, and longitude. Then do the following:
Requirement 7a: Using a 1:24,000 scale USGS topographic map, show that you can identify a location of your choice using UTM coordinates.
Requirement 7b: Using a 1:24,000 scale map, ask your counselor to give you a UTM coordinate on the map, then identify that location.
Requirement 7c: Show that you can identify your current location using the UTM coordinates on a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and verify it on a 1:24,000 scale map.
Requirement 7d: Determine a hypothetical place last seen, and point out an area on your map that could be used for containment using natural or human-made boundaries.
Requirement 8: Choose a hypothetical scenario, either one presented in this merit badge pamphlet or one created by your counselor. Then do the following:
Requirement 8a: Complete an incident objectives form for this scenario.
Requirement 8b: Complete an Incident Action Plan (IAP) to address this scenario.
Requirement 8c: Discuss with your counselor the behavior of a lost person and how that would impact your incident action plan (for example, the differences between searching for a young child versus a teen).
Requirement 8d: After completing 8a – 8c, discuss the hypothetical scenario with your counselor.
Requirement 9: Discuss with your counselor the terms *hasty team* and *hasty search*. Then do the following:
Requirement 9a: Plan and carry out a practice hasty search – either urban or wilderness – for your patrol or troop. Include the following elements in the search: clue awareness, evidence preservation, tracking the subject, and locating the subject using attraction or trail sweep.
Requirement 9b: When it’s over, hold a team debriefing to discuss the hasty search. Discuss problems encountered, successful and unsuccessful tactics, and ideas for improvement.
Requirement 10: Find out about three career or volunteer opportunities in search and rescue. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this professional or volunteer position. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this position might interest you.