Victoria Police is the agency responsible for managing search and rescue incidents in this State. Initially local Police and resources will respond to these incidents. The Search and Rescue Squad will also be alerted to provide advice and assessment of the incident. If necessary a qualified Police Search Coordinator (Incident Controller) and a team from the Squad will be sent to the incident. The Police Search Coordi¬nator will decide when BSAR are to be called out.
The overall command and control responsibility for the search lies with the Operations Commander, usually the most Senior Police Officer from the region. The search coordination and management of search teams is the responsibility of the Police Search Coordinator (Incident Controller). This will be either a local Police Officer or Search and Rescue Squad member when they attend.
You must act on all reasonable instructions given by a Police Officer or any other person to whom the officer delegates authority. Actual instructions to BSAR members will, however, normally come from the FO, often via the Group Leadet
Occasionally, groups are formed using members from a variety of organisations, including Police. Police Forward Command will nominate a group leader for such a group. In such circumstances, the BSAR Group Leader would continue to be responsible for the BSAR members within that group.
Extremely strong ties of respect, trust and friendship have been built up in the past between BSAR and the Police, in particular, members of the Search and Rescue Squad. You are asked always to bear this in mind and to endeavour to foster this relationship.