Search And Rescue Teams And Training By Aleda Baker
What Is Search And Rescue? Search And Rescue is an organization that is made up of mostly volunteers and professional agencies committed to tracking and finding lost or injured individuals in wilderness and urban areas.
Who Are Search And Rescue? • SAR individuals are either paid professionals or volunteers that have had extensive training in all types of rescue scenarios. • They are usually the first responders in searching for lost or injured people. • Training is extensive and on going even after an individual has become a member of SAR. • SAR volunteers are required to purchase all of their own equipment and to use their own transportation to get themselves to the designated command post.
SAR Training • Many SAR members are Reserve Sheriff’s Deputies. • Civilian Volunteers are EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) trained and MRA (Mountain Rescue Association) certified. • Training process can take two years or longer depending on the completion of requirements and the individual’s ability.
SAR team members must be ready to participate in searches when called upon. It is important that family members and employers know this so that when there is an emergency the team member is free to respond to duty.
SAR members are competent in many rescue scenarios and must be prepared for them.
Search And Rescue Vehicles are sometimes donated to the organization from other agencies or through gifts from the public.
Search And Rescue Dog Training • Must be well socialized. • Dogs must learn to stay on task. • Air scenting is practiced repeatedly and at long lengths of time despite distractions. • Trainers and assessors make final evaluation of the dogs preparedness. • Training is always ongoing throughout the dog’s service.
Best SAR Breeds • Best breeds of dogs are the German Shepherd, Border Collie, Lab, Golden Retriever, and Blood Hound.
Mounted Search And Rescue • Members are qualified horse owners who volunteer their horse and themselves as a team. • Mounted Search And Rescue Teams can cover rugged terrain more quickly than on foot. • Horses give an added sensory to the SAR team. • A horse can carry extra SAR equipment in and out of the rescue site.
First Responder Rescue Kit • Contents include: • Oral airway management devices and mask • Infection control swabs and bandages. • EMS equipment (blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, shears, forceps, penlight). • EMS supplies (Insta-glucose, antiseptic swabs, ammonia inhalants, rescue blanket, cold compresses, latex gloves, burn gel).
Don’t go into the wilderness without them! A Compass & Map
10 Essentials • Map • Compass • First-Aid Supplies • Knife • Flash light/headlamp • Sunglasses/sunscreen • Signal devices • Snacks/water • Extra Clothing • Hat • Common sense
To Donate or Volunteer in the Mammoth Mountain Area Contact: Mono County Sheriff Search And Rescue P.O. Box 1954 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 http://www.monosar.org/
To Donate or Volunteer in Santa Clarita Contact: Santa Clarita Valley Search And Rescue Team 23740 Magic Mountain Prkwy. Valencia, CA 91355 http://members.tripod.com/scvrescue/
Hiker Responsibility Code • With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start out. • To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you will return and your emergency plans. • To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person. • To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day. • For emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. • To share the hiker code with others. Reference: “Hike Safe There And Back” - www.hikesafe.com
References: “Information for New Candidates” http://monosar.org/team_memebership.html “Equipment List” http://monosar.org/equipment_list_main.html Mountain Rescue/California Teams http://www.mra.org/teams/california.php King County Sheriff www.kingcounty.gov SAR Dog www.sardog.org “Training a Mountain Rescue Search Dog” www.sardalakes.org.uk Hike Safe, The Hiker Responsibility Code www.hikesafe.com Pro Quest: San Francisco Chronicle “Hiker comes across papers in rugged Sierra terrain west of Mammoth Lakes near Minarets” By Kevin Fagan Oct. 2, 2008. pg. A.1.