Group members are extensively trained in the
National Association for Search and Rescue
"Managing the Search Function", and the Incident Command System.
State certified E.M.T. or Advanced Red Cross
First Aid and CPR.
Crime scene investigation.
The use of VHF radio equipment (all
individual handlers are radio equipped).
Orienteering (map and compass use).
National Ski Patrol's Avalanche and
Winter travel (snowshoes or cross-country
Training and cross
training on all of the above is ongoing throughout the year within our own group and with
other search and rescue oriented organizations. Exercises and actual searches are
performed by our group in all types of terrain: wilderness, desert, and urban, under
various weather conditions.
A fitness test and a
medical examination are required yearly of all our handlers. Our dogs are tested
several times during the year on obedience and agility. Standards for handlers and
dogs may be reviewed by agencies upon request.
Our unit provides multi-trained dog teams in:
They participate in the following search
Wilderness- With the use of
Air Scent, wind currents and terrain features are used to search for a given scent that is
airborne. With Tracking/ Trailing, dog teams look for a scent that has been
deposited by the missing person(s) as they have moved along. Using an article of
clothing worn by an individual our dogs are trained to discriminate between that scent and
any other scent that may be in the area.
Avalanche/ Slide- Dogs help
find victims of an avalanche or slide by alerting at the area where the most accumulation
of human scent comes to the surface, taking into consideration depth and density of the
snow or debris.
Water- Being similar to
Avalanche, dog teams are able to assist by giving areas of high priority for the dive
teams to check out.
Disaster- The scent from
trapped victims can be detected by search dogs so the individual(s) can be rescued.
Evidence/ Article- Items
left, dropped or deposited by a person(s) can be detected by our search dogs to show areas
where a person has traveled as a possible clue.
Urban- Walk-a-ways from rest
homes, school grounds, etc.
Body Recovery- Our dog teams
have been used to locate the bodies and body parts involved in traumatic events.
While we can work
with law enforcement canines, we do not participate in drug or fugitive type searches.