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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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civilian SAR certification

Sooo I just heard that NNDDA is no longer allowing civilians to certify for cadaver search. Anyone have any ideas about other organizations to go to? I know of a few but I'm just wondering if there are some I haven't thought of.

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:34 PM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

NAPWDA - North American Police and Working Dog Association
NASAR - National Association for Search and Rescue
NASDN - North American Search Dog Network
NSDA - National Search Dog Alliance

GSD "Shadow" (Certified SAR)
Coonhound/Lab "Bodasafa" (Certified SAR)
GSD "Rowdy" (In Training SAR)
Chihauhau "Pepper" (BOSS)

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: civilian SAR certification

Thanks! Do you happen to know what certification through each of these is like? I hear the NAPWDA test is very strenuous...any thoughts?

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 01:37 PM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

The NSDA cert is being beta tested. I think they have some stuff in there that is making some folks cringe; something about poop. I can control my dogs leg lifting but not so sure about his butt.

LETS has a cadaver certification as does IPWDA. I met Kathy Holbert with LETS at our Rebmann/Koenig seminar and everyone on our team really liked her and felt she gave us advice that was very effective.

My dog certified last year through NAPWDA first pass. We are coming up on our next test when we can schedule it, which can be hard! For 5 dogs, the testing took 2 full days. Of the 5 dogs, one did not pass. 3 of the 5 had prior certifications. Standards are on the web page. It was a rigorous test for a first time tester, and the evaluator can choose whether you work the water problems via shoreline and / or boat.

She made us do both but we sometimes field calls with their team and she said she wanted the boatwork documented in our certification records. So in that regard, we may have had it a bit tougher. By the same token we did not have to search inside the vehicle but you *might*, but the building problem was a doozy with one source on a hot metal wall of a 2 story metal building with the scent dropping down on top of a front end loader. We had to work it out and explain what we were doing.

From what I understand though it is considered by NAPWDA a MINIMUM that any police dog doing cadaver should be able to do. The tests are very well described on the web page. There was no intention to "mess us up" or "be mean" and in our case, sources ranged from a q-tip dipped in fluid to a quart jar of something and included bone, tissue, fluids.

Remember this is a test for finding cadaver under different situations and you still need to get, whenever possible, acess to bigger scent sources since it is so different to work.

Nancy



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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 09:08 AM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

All police k9 organizations have standards that are the minimum . That is why we are in existence. NO organization is trying to set someone up to fail. The problem that I have with most orgs with regard to HRD cert is that few are realstic and only use small amounts which does not test the thresholds of the dog. The flip side is that few folks can get the proper aids. Folks just have to realize that thresholds are a real issue with regard to a dog being fully operational and need to have that in mind when deploying if they have never exposed their dog to large amounts
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:37 AM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

We learned at our seminar that even pooling training aids from everyone to make a large scent picture just is not the same; we need the real thing.

That said, we will take off work and drive for a few hours if we can get access before a body is moved.

How do you feel about working old graves to simulate shallow graves in the 8 year plus range? I was still amazed at the large scent pool from an old cemetery.

Oh, regarding the NAPWDA test. To be honest after the first segment I relaxed and felt it was more of a learning experience than a test; AFTER each segment we discussed good/bad/suggestions for improvement.

Nancy



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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: civilian SAR certification

Another question for you guys. One of our team members suggested at training yesterday that our team consider setting our own standards, which would probably mean pooling several of those set by national police organizations, then train our dogs to meet those. Then, rather than seek NAPWDA, LETS or other national certification, we would bring in an outside evaluator to sign off that our dogs do meet these standards. What this would do is save our team members travel time and costs to seek national certification. We would still be GEMA licensed and have our FEMA NIMS courses. Thoughts on whether this is a good idea? Nancy, does your team require all members to have national certs?

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 10:29 PM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

We do have internal standards / testing and did as you say [keep them in line with police and NIMS standards] but do strongly recommend external certifications as well.

Taking off and spending money to travel cross country to test is not in most of our personal budgets (time or money), particularly since we use PTO for searches, team events, etc.

Nancy



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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 10:46 PM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

You know another thing that bites [and I see why it has to be this way] is you cannot pay an evaluator to come out other than to cover their expenses. At least not NAPWDA - not sure how NASAR does it.

So these folks are, like Renee must have been, running all over the country taking time away from their family, job [if not retired], etc to work their assess of setting up and evaluating tests.

Really no room to complain about how hard they are to schedule. .......I hope they just continue to add Master Trainer / Evaluators .... I know they added some last year.

Nancy



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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 08:16 AM
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Re: civilian SAR certification

Quote:
Quote: Then, rather than seek NAPWDA, LETS or other national certification, we would bring in an outside evaluator to sign off that our dogs do meet these standards. What this would do is save our team members travel time and costs to seek national certification. We would
Here is the problem with that. First of all, do NOT make up your own.. The standards of nndda,napwda and lets have been tested in court and held. Anytime folks start making up their own standards you throw the door open for the defense to try and impeach them. Do not re invent the wheel. If you are going to do this, NNDDA standards are the most difficult if you add the options. You also must find someone with a "resume" to be your certifying offiical outside of your org. This inhouse stuff is not impressive and has a built in conflict of interest
nasar is useless. Certifying a dog on grams for any field is a waste of time
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