California’s Search and Rescue Top Cop

May 17th, 2016

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Matt Scharper is a Deputy Chief with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services - Law Enforcement Branch and is the California State Search and Rescue Coordinator.  Matt is headquartered out of the Region V office, located in Fresno, CA and is also the Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Coordinator for Region V.  


In this episode Scharper takes pride in lives saved over his 30+ years with SAR, and talks about one of the most recent rescues and how it nearly turned into a recovery mission. He also talks about how inexperienced outdoor enthusiasts put too much reliance on Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs and SEND) which unnecessarily puts other lives at risk. And there's the technology and military mutual aid that has made night SAR missions possible. 


Sharper is a recognized expert in the field of Search and Rescue, he spent 13 years as the Search and Rescue Unit Coordinator for the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department and has over 34 years of combined search and rescue experience.   He has coordinated literally hundreds of searches, rescues, and large and small-scale disasters.  A previous college instructor for search and rescue topics of: Search Management and Tactics, Technical Rope Rescue, Swift water Rescue, Man Tracking, and Law Enforcement Incident Command Systems along with other Law Enforcement topics.  He is the lead instructor for the Cal EMA Search and Rescue Instruction Program, instructing the “Direction and Control of the Search Function Course” and the “Winter Operations SAR Management Course” and is responsible for all State of California SAR programs.  Matt’s 30 year law enforcement career has earned him California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificates of “Advanced, Supervisory, and Management”. 

The Law Enforcement Branch is responsible for coordinating state mutual aid for search and rescue in California. In addition, it receives and coordinates interstate requests under the auspices of the National Search and Rescue Plan. The branch also coordinates all local requests for state and Federal agency assistance. Because search and rescue missions are often life threatening, requests for out-of-county, state or Federal resources can be made directly to CalOES.   

 

 

Links/Resources 

Search and Rescue Mutual Aid 

3rd Battalion 140th Aviation Battalion Security and Support 

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