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ABOUT US: QUALITY CONSISTENCY PLAN

Philosophy:

Members are expected to maintain professional behavior that is courteous, thoughtful, alert to danger and respectful of other persons and property. Search and Rescue is a team activity, and members are expected to be able to work with others in a positive team environment.

The philosophy of this document is to enhance Summit to Sound operations, policy, and procedures through guidance and training. Any member who violates policy, procedure, or certification requirement, who has had infractions documented in accordance with the procedures of this plan, and who has not responded to guidance and training will be brought before the Board of Directors for membership review.

Infractions:

Infractions occur when a member either violates Summit to Sound policy, procedures, or certification requirements or creates a non-safe situation.

Infractions may be obvious and direct (e.g. no PFD worn when in a boat) or nebulous and opinion based (e.g. one person believes another person’s actions are unsafe). For that reason, addressing any infraction will involve the opportunity for both involved parties to present their “side” of what happened.

Infractions include, but are not limited to:

·         Allowing WAC required training or certifications to lapse

·         Abandoning an assigned task

·         Not following directions from a team leader or the Incident Commander (IC)

·         Deviating from an assigned task without the permission of a team leader or the IC or such that the assigned task is not completed

·         Not using safety equipment appropriate for a mission or task

·         Utilizing personal or unit equipment that is unsafe or not appropriate for a mission or task

·         Behavior that creates a dangerous situation or that is inappropriate for a mission, task, or situation

·         Behavior that reflects poorly on the STS unit or SAR in general

Documentation Concerning Infractions:

When an infraction is believed to have occurred, the member or members who believe an infraction has been committed must, immediately or as soon as possible after the incident occurred, bring it to the attention of the member or members who “committed” the infraction.

If the infraction is believed to have created an unsafe situation, all related tasks will cease until the situation is resolved.

The members involved will discuss what occurred, why it is believed to be a safety issue, and what can be done to rectify the situation

The team leader has the authority to determine the ensuing course of action in the field during that event.

If the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, the issue will be considered closed.

If any person feels the incident warrants an infraction report, that member shall notify all members involved, so the situation can be documented by each member involved and on an individual basis.

Documentation will include:

·         Date, time, location of believed infraction

·         Description of overall event (e.g. mission, training, meeting, public forum)

·         Members involved and, if possible, members who witnessed the believed infraction

·         Detailed description of what the member believed to have happened and why it is believed to be or not to be an infraction

Documentation will be completed and presented to the STS President or Vice President within 72 hours of the end of the overall event

If the infraction is not a safety issue, the members involved will discuss what occurred and why it is believed to be an infraction.

If the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, the issue will be considered closed.

If the issue cannot be resolved, the situation will be documented by each member involved and on an individual basis.

Documentation will include:

·         Date, time, location of believed infraction

·         Description of overall event (e.g. mission, training, meeting, public forum)

·         Members involved and, if possible, members who witnessed the believed infraction

·         Detailed description of what the member believed to have happened and why it is believed to be or not to be an infraction

Documentation will be completed and presented to the STS President or Vice President within 72 hours of the end of the overall event

Review Board

If documentation for a believed infraction is received by the STS President or Vice President, the STS President (or Vice President in the absence of the President) will convene a review board that will meet within 30 days from receipt of documentation.

The Board will consist of at least the President and/or Vice President, the Leader of the involved Group, at least one leader from another group, and at least one member designated by the member being accused of an infraction. The resulting total of voting board members must be an odd number to facilitate majority votes if required.

The presiding board member will request the STS Secretary or someone else to take minutes. That person is not a voting member of the Review Board.

All members involved in the incident, to include identified witnesses, are encouraged to attend.

The President or Vice President, in the absence of the President, may invite other members or people outside STS for expert or knowledgeable opinions/inputs. These participants will have no vote.

If a member of the Review Board is involved in the incident as either a reporting member or as the member being reported, that Review Board member will excuse themselves from the Review Board for that incident.

Review Board Actions

The review board will conduct an open discussion of the situation and will determine whether or not an infraction occurred. It is important that both “sides of the story” be heard. In the event a determining consensus cannot be reached, a majority of the Review Board members shall make the final determination.

If the review board decides that no infraction occurred, the issue will be considered closed.

If the review board decides an infraction has occurred, actions taken will depend on whether or not such infractions have occurred previously and on the attitude and response of the member(s) who committed the infraction.

A first infraction will involve both a brief discussion outlining the reasons the member’s actions are considered an infraction and an acknowledgment by the member(s) that the reasons are understood and that such actions will not occur again.

A second infraction for the same type of incident will involve mandatory participation in the next available training session pertinent to the type of infraction.

A third infraction for the same type of incident will be dealt with by the review Board depending on the member's general attitude and desire to improve. Using a majority ruling, the Review Board may:

      Require additional training or proof of additional training

      Require the member to pass a written examination on the subject matter pertinent to the infraction

      Demote the member to a lower state of readiness

      Remove the member from participation in Summit to Sound activities

An infraction of a different type of issue will be dealt with as a first infraction.

General Performance

Accumulation of more than five first infractions within any three year periods will be considered a signal that the member needs additional training or counseling. Any member having five first infractions within a three-year period will be notified by the STS President through the member’s Group Leader that the member’s level of performance is unacceptable. The STS President (or Vice President in the absence of the President) may convene a Review Board to discuss and recommend actions (using a majority vote) to assist the member in improving performance and learning how to work safely and effectively.

Review Board Minutes

Any time a Review Board determines an infraction has occurred or that a member’s performance has warranted creation of a Review Board, the minutes of the Review Board and all other documentation will be filed with the STS Secretary. A copy of the Review Board minutes will be placed in the personnel folder of each member involved. A copy of the Review Board minutes will go to the Search and Rescue Council chairperson.

Click here for a PDF version of the infraction report.