On Wednesday August 26 at approximately 8:00 a.m. the Brewster Police Department received a call reporting a 65 year old male who had been missing from his residence adjacent to Nickerson State Park for approximately 12 hours. Brewster Police immediately initiated their missing person protocols which include the response of assets from the Brewster Fire Department.
To ensure proper command and control of the incident and coordination of resources Police and Fire commanders established a unified command post in the parks Administrative building. State, County, and local police assets including a State Police helicopter, K-9 units, ATV’s, off road motorcycles, and patrol vehicles were quickly deployed throughout the area.
After several hours of intensive searching of areas and roads accessible to the off road and K-9 units the Barnstable County Technical Rescue Team was requested to the scene to conduct a ground based wide area search of the park. Twenty members of the rescue team along with several Chief officers, DCR staff, and the Barnstable County Incident Management Team operated at the scene. The Red Cross canteen unit and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services rehabilitation unit also responded to the incident.
A plan dividing the search area into four sectors was developed and one Technical Rescue Squad consisting of five personnel with GPS equipment was assigned to each. At approximately 2:30 p.m. the missing individual was found and brought to the command post where he was evaluated by EMS personnel and returned to his family.
This response of the Technical Rescue Team highlights the type of resources and services the unit is able to offer local police and fire departments. The team is trained to respond to and operate at building collapses, trench rescues, confined space rescues, high angle rope rescues, and wide area searches such as the incident identified above. The regional team consists of 50 highly trained firefighters from a number of participating Cape Cod fire departments.