Shawn Bailey

Searching for Columbia - Day 1

With two days notice Dan and I were dispatched to Texas in late February to help lead legions of federal firefighters in the search for Columbia's remains in eastern Texas. Over the next days I'll post the story of that trip.

We got to the airport two hours before our flight. Flying with a one way ticket bought the day before does not allow you a speedy departure in a post-9-11 world. We were put through every known screening the airport has. Searching every article we brought, taking a little more than two hours. Leaving the confiscated items (waterproof matches) from the checked bags with Josh to take home we headed off to the terminal. Again our carry-ons were searched as well as our shoes and our clothing. With 10 minutes to catch our plane hope was not my dominant feeling, but we got there just as the doors closing. Having seen Kevin in line and knew that he was not going to make the flight but we met our team leader Kelly from Rocky Mountain Rescue Group when we got on the plane.

We began to prepare ourselves for the job that lay ahead. I went over some equations for POD and spacing that I took out of Managing a Lost Person Incident. One equation I found interesting was POD = 100 - (.5 x spacing). I am interested to see the studies behind this particular equation -- a topic for another time.

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