Friday, April 22, 2022

S is for Search & Rescue

Hi and welcome to my contribution to the 2022 April A to Z Blogging Challenge!

This is just one of many random things that just pop into my head that I'll be writing about for this challenge.

So back in February 2018, Sis1 asked if I wanted to go with her to an informational meeting about a new search & rescue team that the sheriff's department in her county was starting up.  I said I'd go along to keep her company.  It sounded pretty interesting, especially when the lieutenant doing the presentation said that they would probably even consider taking people who lived in neighboring counties....  So I decided to apply, too.  I figured the worst they could do would say no!

But they didn't.  And that's how I became one of the original members of Lapeer County Search & Rescue.

So we're NASAR (National Association for Search & Rescue) certified "professional volunteers" and everyone first is trained as part of the ground unit and then specializing in K9s or equines is optional.  Everyone is at least an amateur radio technician - I personally am a general class operator (my call sign is this blog's URL) and a volunteer examiner.  

We don't just stay in Lapeer County, we're also acknowledged by the Michigan Professional Search & Rescue Council as being available to deploy statewide.  In fact, a lot of us may be driving 4 hours to northern Michigan this weekend to assist another team in a search for a missing person.  We're just waiting to hear more info on that. 

I could go on and on about all the training that I've done in the past 4 years, especially since I somehow got nominated to be the equine division team lead - which means I have even more courses to take than Sis1!   Interesting that the equine team lead is the only one without their own horse!!  
Our K9s aren't the only ones who have to be certified - while we mainly use the horses for PR events, they will be equine SARTECH III certified, which is very similar to what a police horse would go thru. 

I may be biased, but our team is awesome.  Right now we have about 25 people and everyone has their own strengths in different areas, which makes for a well-rounded team. 

We do a lot of public relations and most of the events are pretty fun.  We've helped with traffic control for a 5K race, we've patrolled the parking lot at the Eastern Michigan state fair on horseback a few times.  I mentioned the First Responders Easter Egg hunt in a previous post, we were recently at the Spring Expo, which is for local businesses to promote themselves.  All sorts of fun things!  

We work a lot with other teams from around the state - training together and assisting each other with searches, which adds to networking and extended friendships.  

So that's a little bit about my SAR family!

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