When help from the BSAR is required, the Victoria Police (usually the Search and Rescue Squad) telephone the Police Liaison Officers (PLOs) in list order until contact is made with a PLO who is available for the search. That individual becomes the PLO and initiates the call-out.
The PLO will arrange an FO and a deputy PLO. A call-out of members is then initiated by the PLO and deputy telephoning the Club Contacts of the BSAR member Clubs. The Club Contacts telephone their individual members. Details of members responding to the call are fed back to the PLO for the information of the FO and the Police.
The PLO also activates Peer Support by obtaining the services of a Peer Support Team Leader and keeping them informed of events.
Throughout the search, the PLO remains the Melbourne contact for the BSAR operation and monitors its progress. The PLO may be required to call up additional searchers in the event of a further request from Police.
The PLO may initiate a call to members’ homes through the Club Contacts if they feel that it is appropriate to pass on a message from the FO concerning the searchers. Perhaps the most common reason for a message would be to pass information about the searchers’ homecoming.
After the search, the PLO prepares a report, with any recommendations, for discussion at the next BSAR Committee meeting.
Qualifications and Appointment
PLOs are appointed and reviewed annually, by the BSAR Committee. People considered for appointment are expected to have:
- An extensive background in both Search and Rescue operations and the administration of the BSAR Committee over a period of many years.
- Been an FO, or have equivalent experience.
- A very thorough knowledge, based on experience, of all bushwalking areas in Victoria.
- A good working knowledge of Police search operations.
- A good working knowledge of BSAR member Clubs.
- A demonstrated capacity to liaise effectively.
Once appointed, PLOs become officers of the BSAR Committee. They are expected to be actively involved in the affairs of the Committee and to maintain up-to-date lists of Club Contacts, FOs and BSARmembers. They will liaise with the other PLOs regarding periods of unavailability.
Further details about the duties of a PLO are documented in “Field Organiser and Police Liaison Officer Notes and Checklist”.
Updated 16 Feb 2011
Last Updated on February 17, 2021