SARstories News is our blog for all things Search & Rescue: interesting mission reports and articles, featured SAR teams and new items on the website, upcoming conferences, gear reviews, and anything else that piques our interest and we hope will pique yours.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

SAR: A Great Education For Volunteers

I don't think I learned this much in college. At least, not as many truly useful skills as I've acquired or improved upon since joining a Search & Rescue team just under two years ago. And most of that education has been either free or at very low cost.

My SAR trainings have included subjects and skills like:

Map & Compass
GPS
Alternative Navigation
Basic ATV and UTV
Tracking--both human and vehicle tracks
Truck and trailer training
Patient Packaging
Line Search and Probability of Detection
Snowmobile driving
Rappelling
Belaying
Ascending ropes
Rigging anchors, raising and lowering systems
Knot-tying
The Incident Command System
Helicopter safety


Team members also have access to a class on Wilderness First Aid at a reduced cost, a variety of advanced technical rescue skills, snow and ice skills, SnowCat operation, monthly mini-trainings on topics such as Alzheimers and Dimensia, Wildland Fire, and differentiating between human and animal bones. We also have opportunities to participate in joint trainings with other organizations, such as local fire departments and the Forest Service for example.

And then there are the state and national SAR conferences, offering a variety of workshops and field classes. For those of you in Arizona, our state SAR conference in Heber will be held September 18 - 20th at the Salvation Army’s Camp Ponderosa Ranch. Have you registered yet? If not, the information is on the Tonto Rim Search & Rescue Squad's website. And here's the most up-to-date class schedule.

For a list of upcoming NASAR courses, see the Events Calendar on their website.

Interested in technical rescue? You might want to attend the International Tech Rescue Symposium to be held this year from November 5th thru 8th in Pueblo, Colorado. Registration information can be found on the ITRS website at http://www.itrsonline.org and in the downloadable ITRS brochure.

Know of another upcoming SAR conference for this year or next? Let us know in the comments section.

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