About Desert Rescue Research

Desert Rescue Research was founded by Tom Pendley in 1996. “We were teaching a lot of rope rescue in the 90’s and any sort of quality illustrated training material for rope rescue was just non existent”. “We were literally teaching rescue by folklore”.

One of my rescue buddies showed me some some pulley system illustrations that he made on the computer with a CAD program called Autosketch. I said “can you teach me how to do this”? and before I knew it, I owned a copy of Autosketch and I was happily making vector images of pulleys, carabiners and litter baskets.

I started making firefighter friendly illustrated procedures showing specific system details. The team really liked that kind of reference. Before too long, the Technical Rescue Program Manager for Phoenix Fire (Ron Jamison) asked me to make “a few more drawings”. When I finished them, he said “these are great, when can you do the rest”? “we need Confined Space, Trench, Swift Water…”

Well before too long, it was clear that this small project had turned into a field operations guide. Without knowing any better, I went to the bookstore and got  book on how to self publish.

Ron and I worked on format ideas and focused on what we knew was needed after teaching so many firefighters technical rescue. we took the prototype to Chief Dykes who said “too many pages”.

That forced us to go back to the drawing board and see how we could cut and concentrate a procedure so that it was clear, intuitive and took the minimum number of pages.

The First Edition

That turned out to be a good formula. Too many guides have too much stuff. It was keep it simple and the first edition was just that.

I immediately began working on the 2nd edition with the help of Glenn Speight. Glenn, who was a pro designer, quickly helped me take it to the next level with a professional clean design and sweet cover.

The third edition

The third edition followed with updates to the shoring section and a few fixes. The third edition was in print for 8 years and sold 40,000 copies world wide.

Now the 4th edition was long overdue a couple of years ago but life kept getting in my way. Family came first and then there seemed to be no end of projects with my real job at the Peoria AZ Fire Department.

In 2010, it was clear that I could not keep printing the now out of date 3rd edition so I picked a date and a new cover and started the revision.

My ability with Adobe Illustrator went up over the years illustrating my articles for FireRescue Magazine and after doing a few illustrations, It was clear that I had to re-do them all.

Edition 4

Now its finally off the press and I can work on my next project which is to make multimedia tutorials (which is, I think, the wave the future). Get Ready.