In the US, a child goes missing every 90 seconds. School transport personnel can make a difference!
Captain Alan Plastow, of the Ohio Special Response Team, Stark County Search and Rescue Unit, delivered a 2.5-hour presentation to over 300 school bus drivers and school transportation personnel. The discussion focused on how school transportation personnel can play a vital role in monitoring at-risk students as well as in preventing child abductions. Captain Plastow covered a series of topics, including the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, the Amber Alert System, Lost Person Behavior Analysis, and Critical Cultural Factors in Missing Children.
Each of these topics impacts upon, or contributes to, characteristics of children (and adults) with whom we all interact on a daily basis. In many cases, even a minimal observational effort can reveal children who may be at risk of abduction or abuse. Plastow provided information on actual searches and recoveries as well as print materials that included resources, checklists, and behaviors to watch out for when in the presence of at-risk individuals.
The bottom line: Know what the issues are, what to look for, and what to do.
Captain Alan Plastow is a search and rescue technician credentialed through the National Association for Search and Rescue, Mountain Rescue Association, and National Land Search and Rescue School. Plastow is a member of the Medina County Child Abduction Team and currently teaches Project Management at the University of Akron.
Would you be interested in becoming part of Ohio's premier volunteer search and rescue team? The Ohio Special Response Team is always on the lookout for individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. Whether it's becoming a member of our basic operations support cadre, a fully qualified search and rescue technician, a search K-9 handler, a drone specialist, a rope rescue technician, or more than one of these, there's a place for nearly every interested person in our units throughout the state of Ohio. Sounds difficult, doesn't it? It's not. There’s no need to be superman or super woman, the members – male and female – of OSRT are people just like you. We merely take the time and effort to train and become proficient at the skill sets involved in search and rescue.
ORT members strive to bring lost souls home to their families!