Volume 7, issue 1

Greatbatch, I

Welcome to Issue 1 of the 7th Volume of the Journal of Search and Rescue.

Readers will have noticed, in the previous pages, that this issue contains for the first time a list of our
corporate partnerships and affiliations. In the last issue, we announced our partnership with the Institute of
Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM) and published a guest editorial from their President.
This resulted in two benefits for this journal. The first is that ICPEM are sponsoring the production of digital
object identifiers DOIs for all articles published in our Journal. This has meant that papers published here
are now referenced in all major international libraries and cross-referenced for their discussion in in other
publications. The result of that is that many of our contributing authors have seen their research rankings
improved, as well as an increased influence of Search and Rescue as a scientific discipline.

The second beneficial result was that a number of other relevant organisations contacted us to discuss
alliances and affiliations with them and I’m proud to include a page in this issue sharing the details of such
an illustrious collection of Search and Rescue Organisations. There are links below each logo, so please
do visit them, and if appropriate, consider joining them as a member.

This issue is split into three parts. The first section is the typical contributions original research. We then
have two letters to the editor, and two submissions to the annual Syrotuck Symposium held in Iceland in 2023.

Discussions of Artificial Intelligence appear in the articles in this issue, and did in the previous issue. In
addition it is in evidence on the cover, where artificial intelligence was used to create a futuristic Search
and Rescue technician.

Artificial Intelligence often suffers from a bad press internationally with people (perhaps justifiably)
concerned that without adequate controls there may be risks to humanity. In addition, people are reasonably
concerned that artificial intelligence may replace them at work and that our social and economic systems
have not developed adequate protection for workers replaced by artificial intelligence. Although these
concerns are legitimate, I prefer to see artificial intelligence as an opportunity rather than a threat –
especially in the realm of search and rescue.

The ability to tap into many centuries of knowledge and experience in seconds when planning conducting
or analysing data relating to a search has enormous potential for our sector. Admittedly, some of the same
concerns may exist, in that we may need fewer search planners if artificial intelligence becomes reliable
enough, but this is the same with all advances in technology. I would argue that in our sector where it literally is a matter of life and death, and where lives can be saved with the application of the correct technique and technology, then we should never fail to overlook any potential incremental improvement in our performance.

Our sector is undergoing a number of changes, and so is our Journal. Some changes are purely
improvements, driven by our new corporate partnerships, and we will be looking for volunteers for editorial,
social media, and administrative roles going forward. We will also, as always, welcome research common,
commentary, and any other contribution from the search and rescue community. Please do get in touch if
you feel you can contribute to the future of the Journal.

I often end editorials with a thank you to you the community; the researchers, the scientists, the practitioners
of search and rescue, who regularly put themselves before others to save life, and those who dedicate their
time, energy, and intellect to creating and submitting work for this journal. I appreciate that I do it often, but
I assure you it is always heartfelt.

Stay safe – and thank you all for what you do.

Dr Ian Greatbatch
Worcestershire, Englan

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