Standardization News

Barking Up The Right Tree

Being dangerously lost, particularly in the wild - or knowing a loved one is lost - is one of the most harrowing situations imaginable. Teams of highly skilled dogs have increasingly played an integral role in search and rescue operations. Now, a new ASTM International standard, will define the knowledge, skills and abilities required for a dog crew or team to perform an area search.

According to ASTM member Lee Lang, F3070, Guide for Evaluating Area Search Dog Crews or Teams, was developed because search and rescue dog teams are currently tested to different levels yet use similar terminology is used to describe the abilities of the dogs.

"Using F3070 will help in developing testing paradigms that better identify core competencies and unify various search and rescue organizations under terminology that is based on a single national standard," says Lee.

Lee notes that both dog handlers and search and rescue managers have identified the necessary competencies addressed in F3070, making it a standard that will enhance the professionalism and accountability of those managing search and rescue dog teams.

"Primary users of F3070 will be authorities having jurisdiction, such as sheriffs, emergency service offices, and search and rescue teams, that are responsible for conducting searches in wilderness settings," says Lang. The standard will also be helpful to regulatory authorities in identifying the minimal expected performance level of search dogs for both local and national responses.

F3070 was developed by Subcommittee F32.02 on Management and Operations, part of ASTM International Committee F32 on Search and Rescue.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (tel +1.877.909.ASTM;

CONTACT Technical Information: Lee Lang • Fort Collins, Colo. • tel +1.307.399.1345 | ASTM Staff: Thomas O'Toole • tel +1.610.832.9739 | Upcoming Meeting: June 6 • Estes Park, Colo. • In conjunction with the National Association for Search and Rescue

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