Search & Rescue

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Lifestyle Overland

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Navigator I

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I think there may be several of our members who are already members of a search and rescue team. Could you share how you got involved, and what kind of training that was required for volunteers?

I'm researching a local chapter here in New Mexico and considering becoming a volunteer so I'm very interested in hearing from folks who are already involved.

What better way to serve the community than using our rigs and knowledge of the backcountry?
 

XPlore

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I volunteer in the "Civil Air Patrol" No training is required and you kinda have to choose what you wanna branch off in to which will take more training and tests. I have been on Search and Rescue exercises with them and I am qualified. For a basic qualification for Ground Team you need your FEMA IS 100 and 700, basic radio course, first aid, and a few other things. I know for a fact people can go on exercises and learn from them . If you are into aviation we also have volunteer aircraft scanners and other positions. The aircraft are provided by the State.
 

jdunk

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I volunteer for the local Search and Rescue 4x4 unit.

To get a basic qualification, it's 2 days of classroom training and 2 days/2 nights of field training, CPR, and the FEMA 100 and 700 courses (FEMA courses are online, and free). After that, there are many supplementary qualifications with different training levels. Snow, Quad, Dualsport, Snow Machine, Winter driving, etc.

It's a good group of people, and it doesn't hurt that it helps me justify more work on the Jeep!

Edit: there are minimum gear requirements that are required. Though, most of them would be found in the same boxes as your overland gear
 

XPlore

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Here are the links to both FEMA courses, have you checked with your local CERT as well? Also look into HAM radios as well

Also if you choose to do Civil Air Patrol at all, be wary of some squadrons. Some are very umm unique
IS100

IS700
 

roamingtimber

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I volunteer with my sheriff departments search and rescue. We require a minimum gear list of mostly good,quality hiking gear with a few extras thrown in. For training there is a 2 day academy held over a weekend for most basic qualifications although you have to get some medical stuff separately like first aid, cpr and bone immobilization. This all allows you to hike up a trail as part of a team and conduct missions. You can go beyond that depending on how much time you want to commit. We have teams for swift water rescue, rigging teams for technical rope work, mountain rescue, 4x4, mountain bike, equestrian, helicopter and operational support. Each state and county do it a little different. Here I Washington the state just changed the statutes governing SAR groups so we had to requalify a bunch of training to comply with the new requirements. It might seem like a lot, it if you contact your local SAR organization they will help you out. We are always looking for new volunteers. The people you work with are all great too.
 

jdunk

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Roaming, are you with King County...? We go up there and work with them all the time. Pierce County SAR here!

Edit: We already hat this conversation... DOH!
 

roamingtimber

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Roaming, are you with King County...? We go up there and work with them all the time. Pierce County SAR here!

Edit: We already hat this conversation... DOH!
It's cool man! I'm with Snohomish County, I've responded to King, but never to Pierce. We have had some guys from Skagit come down to help us, I don't think anyone from Pierce though.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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Thanks for all the info! I'm still doing my research and I plan on attending one of the local chapter's meetings to get a feel for the group.

Here are the links to both FEMA courses, have you checked with your local CERT as well? Also look into HAM radios as well

Also if you choose to do Civil Air Patrol at all, be wary of some squadrons. Some are very umm unique
IS100

IS700
Honestly, I had never heard of CERT until now. I'll look into it.

Yes, HAM is definitely on the list for this year. Hope to study the next couple months and take the test at Expo West.
 

Mad Garden Gnome

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Those FEMA courses look interesting. I had basic NASAR certification years ago when I worked with a group in the San Diego desert.
 

roamingtimber

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I had to do those FEMA courses, they suck. They're all about interagency cooperation and the national response infrastructure. Nothing useful to the grunt on the ground. If you get involved in the planning on operational control aspect of SAR they could be useful I guess. Our SAR sheriffs deputy deals with all that stuff. I'm just a pack mule and a rope puller.
 

roamingtimber

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North Cascades, Washington
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I responded to a SAR mission this afternoon. We had about 45 SAR members respond which is a good turn out. We had a very large area to search though and could have used more. Where ever you love, your local SAR could use your help. You will get lots of cool training, play with some cool stuff and meet the best people. If you are into overlanding and adventure I'm sure your have the ability to help in some way, be it on a field team or on the support team running the radio.
 
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Dunco

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Off-Road Ranger I

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its funny no matter where in the world where from people with a passion for the outdoors and adventure gravitate towards this type of thing definitely great to be involved in, over here we have the state emergency service we do land search's, communications, storm damage, vertical rescue and operate flood rescue boats, you meet some great people and the skills you gain are second to none :)
 
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