Who We Are

Who We are:

Our membership is made up of professional men and women like yourself. We have among our membership military personnel, engineers, technical, government personnel as well as professional and volunteer firefighters, managers, laborers, etc. All it takes to be an active member of TSAR is a willingness to help others and a love for the out of doors. When, where and how often you respond is totally up to you.

Elected Officers


Jim Russell – tsarcommander[at]tsar.org

Jim Russell was transplanted from New England to Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2001 and has been involved in the Virginia Search and Rescue program since 2014. In addition to being the Group Commander of Tidewater Search and Rescue (TSAR), Jim is also the group’s Virginia Search and Rescue Council (VASARCo) representative, dispatcher, and recruiter. Jim is also an active member of the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute (SARTI) most recently acting as the Assistant Documentation Unit Leader. He holds certifications as a Search Team Leader (STL), Management Team Member (MTM), and Tracking Technician (TT) from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). In 2019, Jim became a VDEM Adjunct Instructor for the Virginia Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) Academy’s Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting, and Tracking (F.A.S.T.) class. Also in 2019, he became an evaluator for the Virginia tracking program, providing evaluations for those interested in becoming VDEM certified human trackers or re-certifying. Since attending comparative osteology workshops at Radford University and Western Carolina University, Jim has been researching and developing his own workshops for comparative osteology, comparing and identifying animal versus human bones that are found during cold case searches. He has recently published is first book which supplements these workshops titled Animal vs. Human Bones: Vol. 1 – White-tail Deer. He has also recently launched The Russell Bone Atlas, a comparative osteology website at http://RussellBoneAtlas.wordpress.com that searchers can use while in the field to help identify bones. When he’s not deployed at a search or away for training, Jim volunteers with the Boy Scouts as an Assistant Scoutmaster and a Search and Rescue merit badge counselor often introducing scouts to the art of tracking. In addition to Search and Rescue, Jim spends much of his free time outdoors hiking, fishing, boating, and aimlessly wandering through the woods.

Operations Section Chief

Bart Drummond – tsaroperations[at]tsar.org

Bart Drummond is currently the Operations Section Chief for Tidewater Search and Rescue. Bart has been a member of Tidewater Search and Rescue, responding to and overseeing missing persons and missing aircraft searches, since February, 2009. Bart currently holds Virginia Department of Emergency Management certifications as Search Team Instructor, Management Team Instructor, Search Mission Coordinator and Search Team Leader.  Prior to his involvement with Tidewater Search and Rescue, Bart was a Captain in the United States Air Force Auxiliary – Civil Air Patrol with the Newport News Composite Squadron from 2001 until 2011. During his time with the Civil Air Patrol he attained certifications as Air Branch Operations Director, Mission Observer and Urban Direction Finding Team Member.  In addition to working as a flight crew member during searches for missing persons and missing aircraft, Bart worked as the Squadron’s Safety Officer and a Trainer for the Squadron’s flight crews. Bart has been an Adjunct SAR Instructor with VDEM since January, 2011, teaching various search and rescue courses such as Search Team Member, Search Team Leader and SAR for the First Responder. When not busy with SAR related work, Bart enjoys scuba diving, playing guitar, playing tennis, target shooting, fly fishing and kayaking.

Plans Section Chief

Steve Fesko – tsarplans[at]tsar.org

Logistics Section Chief

Nicole Knudson – tsarlogistics[at]tsar.org

Finance Section Chief

Sharyn Booker – tsar_donate[at]tsar.org

Appointed Officers

Public Information Officer


VASARCO Representatives

Kevin Brewer,   Jim Russell

Training Officer

vacant – tsartraining[at]tsar.org

Safety Officer

Scott Brown – tsar-safety[at]trooptrack.com

Documentation Officer


News Letter Editor

vacant – tsarnews[at]tsar.org

Medical Officer

Chris Spaulding – tsarmedical[at]tsar.org

Communications Officer

vacant – tsarcoms[at]tsar.org

Web Site Team

Elsbeth Thurston – webadmin[at]tsar.org

Who We are: