CHARTER
of the
National Cave Rescue Commission
of the
National Speleological Society

Revised by Board of Governors Action March 15, 2003

A. The National Cave Rescue Commission (Commission) is located in the Administrative Vice-President's Department and is charged with the following responsibilities:

1. To act as spokesman for the Society regarding cave rescue. (It shall be understood that it is the policy of the Society to maintain a low profile during rescue operations to the extent possible and to avoid bringing awareness of ongoing rescue activities to public notice.)

2. To serve as a technical resource for the Society on matters of cave rescue.

3. To develop and maintain a professional level liaison with federal, state, and local authorities whose resources or mission may affect cave rescue. In addition, to develop and maintain an active liaison with organizations interested in cave rescue.

4. To develop a national standard curriculum in cave rescue operations and systems for the Society members.

5. To develop certification standards for NCRC Instructors to provide qualified persons to teach Commission approved training.

6. To assist Internal Organizations and cave rescue organizations in general with the education and training of their members in cave rescue operations and systems.

7. To coordinate with the Cave Rescue Section to present current cave rescue information to Society members.

8. To establish and maintain a database of individuals with training in cave rescue.

9. To establish and maintain an inventory of specialized rescue equipment, owned by the Society or otherwise available, which may be used by the Commission for training or used for rescue and to report the status of Society owned equipment to the Society upon request of the Administrative Vice President.

10a. To hold at least one meeting of the Commission each year at the NSS Annual Convention. This meeting will be open to the public and provide a forum for the Commission to present recent accomplishments and future plans to the Society membership and solicit membership feedback.

10b. To hold at least one business meeting per year. The agenda of any business meeting shall be distributed to all members of the Board of Regional Coordinators at least 30 days prior to the meeting. A copy of the agenda shall be available to any NSS member upon request and posted on the NCRC web site.

10c. Minutes of all meetings will be taken and these minutes shall be submitted to the Administrative Vice President and to all members of the Board of Regional Coordinators within 30 days of the meeting’s conclusion. A copy the minutes shall be available to any NSS member upon request and posted on the NCRC web site.

11. To conduct periodic National Cave Rescue Seminars (Seminars), separate from the Society convention, and to encourage regional and local cave rescue seminars.

12. To perform other duties relating to cave rescue as assigned by the Administrative Vice-President or the Board of Governors.

B. The Commission shall be governed by a Board of Regional Coordinators, which shall consist of a National Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Medical Coordinator, Cave Diving Coordinator, and several Regional Coordinators. Regional Coordinator positions shall be established or modified by the Administrative Vice President upon recommendation of the Board of Regional Coordinators, subject to the approval of the NSS Board of Governors.

C. The terms of Regional Coordinators shall end on a staggered basis such that approximately the same number of positions become vacant each year at the start of the opening session of the Board of Governors meeting held at the national convention.

D. Members of the Board of Regional Coordinators shall serve for terms of three years. The NCRC Board of Regional Coordinators shall recommend a candidate for each open position to the Administrative Vice President. The Administrative Vice President shall appoint or reappoint members of the NCRC Board of Regional Coordinators subject to Board of Governors approval. There is no limit on the number of consecutive terms a member of the Board of Regional Coordinators may serve.

E. The National Coordinator will act as executive officer and director of the Commission and will preside at all meetings of the Commission. He will also be responsible for appointing a Financial Officer, committees and/or staff to accomplish the various tasks and goals established by the Commission, and shall regularly report the status of Commission activities to the Administrative Vice-President.

F. The Training Coordinator will oversee the Commission’s cave rescue training activities and implement training policies and procedures as developed by the Board of Regional Coordinators.

G. The Medical Coordinator will advise the Board of Regional Coordinators on matters of patient care and medical protocols, and oversee medical aspects of the Commission’s cave rescue training curriculum and activities consistent with the policies of the Commission.

H. The Cave Diving Coordinator will advise the Board of Regional Coordinators on matters of cave rescue/recovery diving and serve as primary liaison to organizations involved in cave rescue/recovery diving.

I. The National Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Medial Coordinator, Cave Diving Coordinator, and all Regional Coordinators shall be members of the National Speleological Society on the date of their appointment and shall remain Society members for their entire term.

J. The National Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Medical Coordinator, Cave Diving Coordinator, or any of the Regional Coordinators may be removed by the Administrative Vice President (subject to Board of Governors approval) or by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board of Regional Coordinators.

K. The financial operations of the Commission shall be governed by a budget developed by the Board of Regional Coordinators, subject to amendment by the NSS Executive Committee and approval by the Board of Governors. The National Coordinator, or the National Coordinator's designee, shall approve all expenses. All financial accounting and disbursements for the Commission shall be handled in accordance with the Acts of the Board of Governors and financial processes and reporting requirements established by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Society.

L. The Commission is authorized to solicit contributions and grants to the Society to support programs and activities of the Commission. Such contributions and grants shall be used in accordance with any stipulations attached to them and shall be managed in such a way as to provide a detailed accounting of their use. All such contributions become the property of, and will be under the control of, the Society. They will be accounted for in the Society financial statements and can be disbursed only under the rules for financial management established by the Board of Governors for the Society.

M. The Society and the Commission will sponsor a periodic National Cave Rescue Seminar. The Board of Regional Coordinators will appoint a chairman of the seminar whose duties will be to coordinate the organization of and to conduct the seminar. The chairman of the seminar will appoint a treasurer of the seminar, subject to the approval of the National Coordinator and the NSS Secretary-Treasurer, whose duties will be to handle all seminar funds, keep adequate records, and provide financial reports to the NCRC Financial Officer and National Coordinator and to the NSS Administrative Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer.

N. The budget of the seminar must be submitted to and approved in advance by the NCRC National Coordinator, NSS Administrative Vice-President, and the NSS Secretary-Treasurer. All funds received or disbursed for the seminar will be accounted for separately from other Society or Commission funds. No funds designated for the seminar shall be used for other Commission activities or functions. Any excess of revenue over expenses generated in the operation of a National Seminar shall accrue to the national NCRC account and shall be subject to the rules governing that account. Any deficit resulting from the operation of the seminar shall be absorbed by the NCRC national account provided the budget was approved in advance as described above. In the event the Society directs the Commission to operate a seminar determined by the Commission to be likely to result in a deficit, any resulting deficit shall reimbursed to the Commission by the Society.

O. The Commission may receive an advance from the Society to aid in the organization of a seminar. Such advance shall be repaid to the Society following the seminar.

P. Neither the National Cave Rescue Commission nor any of its committees or staff members shall be a rescue team. A rescue team trained or supported by the Commission is not an NCRC rescue team and may not use “NCRC” in its name. No individual is authorized to represent himself as an “NCRC rescuer” or as a member of an “NCRC rescue team” or to otherwise imply that they are performing a rescue under the auspices of the Commission.

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