Monday, April 22, 2024

#AtoZChallenge - Search & Rescue

 #AtoZChallenge 2024 letter S

Welcome to Day 19 of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My theme this year is things that entertain and/or inspire me. 

Today it's all about search & rescue.  Specifically, what it takes to become a member of my team. 


Yes - we look for people!!  You wouldn't believe how many times we've been asked ~what~ we look for! 

I joined the Lapeer County Search & Rescue team when it was first being put together by the Lapeer County Sherriff's Department back in 2018.  Sis1 went to the informational meeting and I tagged along for moral support.  For shitz & gigglez, I applied and was accepted, even tho I don't live in the county. 

Most SAR teams follow guidelines set down by NASAR, the National Association for Search And Rescue. We also belong to MiPSARC which is the Michigan Professional Search & Rescue Council which means we are willing and able to deploy anywhere in the state.

My team has to pass a background check and an interview from the sheriff's department. 
 We do not deploy on searches without approval from the sheriff's liaison and our director.  A lot of times it's for safety's sake. 

The following is some of the qualifications we need to get and maintain in order to keep our certifications.

We start out with 6 FEMA courses in the first 90 days

*Intro to Hazardous Materials

*Intro to Incident Command System

*Basic Incident Command for Initial Response

*Intro to Community Emergency Response Team

*Intro to the National Incident Management System

*Intro to the National Response Framework

Then in the first year, we're required to have

*CPR & basic first aid

*Wilderness first aid

*Bloodborne pathogens

*Crime Scene Awareness

*Land Navigation

*HAZMAT Awareness

*NASAR SARTECH II certification

*Amateur Radio License, Technician or higher

*K9 First Aid

*Equine First Aid

and this is just the basics! Everyone starts out on the ground team, but you can eventually specialize in other units. We have a K9 unit with their own set of qualifications & certifications and also we're hoping to get the equine unit back this summer (the darn team lead, aka ***ME***, needs to get a darn horse!!) which means the horses also have to complete almost the same training as a police horse. We also encourage people to pursue other things - kayaking, man tracking, drones, etc.

And because I am a team lead, I'm SARTECH I qualified, which means I'm a crewleader and once I get my own horse, I'll be in charge of training.

We also have covered Lost Person Behavior and SARIA (initial actions) and do regular refreshers. 
Me on Kisses (right) and Sis1 on Remington (RIP)
doing a public relations outing on the local rail trail.
I did quite well at a 'SAR Olympics" that another team put on a couple years ago.
It was fun - they need to do that again!
Other teams are always welcome to attend our training sessions and a lot of times they do!
Drills in all weather
brrrr we are having FUN.  
Wrapping up a teammate in a 'hypothermia wrap"
Conducting a "building search" at Crossroads Village in Flint
and finding their Halloween decorations!
Kisses is now retired and is a professional Pasture Ornament.
The plan is for Sis1 to rehome one of her other horses so I can have his stall for a horse of my own!
We also get calls to assist with other teams - this was our first assist.
In January 2019, way up in the northern part of Michigan.
Some of our fantastic K9s & their handlers. 
Another drill!
I might not be the most knowledgeable when it comes to the technical side of radio, but I am quite proficient operating one.  
Securing a "victim" in the stokes basket for safe transport.
We're pretty honored to be included among the First Responders for the annual Halloween "Truck or Treat" event. 
We also attended the Lapeer County Emergency Services Gala this year.  
This is about 1/3 of our team - we clean up nice!

Oh, in a nutshell... in 2023, we were called out on 20 searches, got 7 new members for a total of 28 people, drove more then 39,500 miles and spent 4,500 hours of our time. 
Looking forward to what 2024 continues to bring!

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, this is brilliant! Probably the best post I’ve visited this year. Search and rescue sounds really difficult. Thank you for doing it.
    Locksley at George's GP World


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