looking into joining SAR - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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looking into joining SAR

So I have been thinking lately that if we ever got a GSD (or another dog for that matter) I would like to consider joining a SAR group and I was just looking for information on it. Now please forgive me, but I am going to bombard you all with questions and would appreciate any help I can get.

Any specific books or websites you would recommend reading?

How much does it usually cost? (I am not asking any of you to tell me the exact amount you pay or anything like that, just a rough idea)

What training and tests do you need to do/take?

How do employers usually react to you being in a SAR group? Any bad experiences?

What to look for in a SAR dog?

Do you have to travel for training? (like out of state or country)

What do you normally have to pay for when in a SAR group?

Can you go to meetings just to check it out or anything like that?

What questions should I ask when looking into joining a group?


I think that is it for right now, but I will probably have more in the future.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 03:20 PM
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I think the best thing to do is find a SAR group near you (there are several in FL) and ask to visit with them first. Some have outside funding to help, others don't and they have various differing requirements.

We tell prospects to expect to spend 2-3K per year on SAR related expenses out of pocket. All states/teams will expect ISC 100, 200, 700, 800, and 809 at a minimum, all free and online through FEMA. There are also classrom ICS 300 and 400 courses that many take but don't worry about now.

NASAR, www.nasar.org has SAR tech III, then SAR Tech II requirements that many teams require even if they use other agences for canine certification.

There is also disaster vs wilderness SAR, with disaster being a few elite groups though some state disaster groups have come up as well.

As far as employers, well that depends on yours. Even if I were young and fit enough to want to do disaster I could not be gone for several weeks at a time which is how FEMA deployments sometimes work. Most wilderness calls are a day or two and it is ENTIRELY between you and the employter. Some teams require a letter from your boss before they will even let you join.

Most trainings and meetings are open to folks who are not on SAR teams. NASAR has a big meeting in Myrtle Beach this May [I am not going because I will just be getting back from a cadaver dog seminar and can't afford to do both / take PTO for both]

Don't worry about what to look for in a SAR dog until you try it out with a team without a dog first. You need to be prepared in FL that poisonous snakes and gators are the norm but if a human life is at stake, putting the dog at risk is, well, that is SAR.

So number one. Find a team first and just talk with them ask to come to some trainings.
Number two. Don't get that dog YET. Follow their lead.

Nancy



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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 03:40 PM
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Second what Jocoyn said. Find a team. Go to their trainings and talk to people. Figure out what kind if SAR you are interested in. I have done Wilderness, but now train and handle a USAR dog.

They both have their positives and negatives. It can take many years to train a dog. And lots if money, time, heartache, and a complete change in your life.

SAR is not a hobby. It is not something you do for fun in your free time.

Also many dogs do not have what it takes to be a SAR dog, so please think about what you will do if the dog you buy does not work. But now you have the "bug" and need another dog. It's a common problem.

Get in with a group. Find one you like, and look to them for guidance in what you need as a handler and finding a dog.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback so far! We aren't even thinking of getting another dog for another year or two so I have plenty of time to go over my options and figure out what exactly I need. I will definitely look into the Groups around here and see what they are all about.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:56 PM
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Any specific books or websites you would recommend reading? William Syrotuck, Scent and the Scenting Dog

How much does it usually cost? (I am not asking any of you to tell me the exact amount you pay or anything like that, just a rough idea) My expenses are minimal as I live close to a team but I still pay all expenses and earn $0 for doing it. It's not something you'd want to do for fame and fortune

What training and tests do you need to do/take? Anything you can get into, but start with all the basics, from learning which breed, obedience, tracking, trailing, air scent, live, HRD, etc ...

How do employers usually react to you being in a SAR group? Any bad experiences? Nope, hardly comes up.

What to look for in a SAR dog? High prey drive, excellent nerve strength

Do you have to travel for training? (like out of state or country) Most likely out of state unless you live somewhere where you can learn the basics.

What do you normally have to pay for when in a SAR group? All expenses for your travel, food, dog stuff, pretty much everything.

Can you go to meetings just to check it out or anything like that? Absolutely, I'd recommend doing that to start with before EVER getting your own pooch.

What questions should I ask when looking into joining a group? Anything
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:56 PM
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A couple of books that I found informative and interesting were:

Scent and the Scenting Dog by William G. Syrotuck and William G. Sjrotuck

and

Analysis of lost Person Behavior by William Syrotuck, Jean Anne Syrotuck and Syrotuck

Last edited by GSD2; 04-23-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 11:10 PM
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There is a newer book on lost person behavior that is excellent

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1879471396/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=151094767&ref=pd_sl_64vgs5slnj_p
The scent and the scenting dog book is a classic

I imagine the NASAR fundamentals of search and rescue would be a good resource

You can go ahead and do the free online FEMA training ICS 100,200,700,800,809 as you will need it.

K9 Search and Rescue - Gerritson and Haak - good background info
Ready - Training the search and rescue dog by bulunda [there is a new 2002 version]
even the ARDA book is ok and it is cheap now:
Search and Rescue Dogs Traiing the K9 Hero [there is a newer paperback version]

Nancy



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:22 AM
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Emergency Management Institute | Independent Study (IS) - Course List

Links to the NIMS classes. They don't take very long to complete at all. You might also want to join with a local Ambulance company/Fire department as a lot of SAR groups require at least CPR/First Aid/AED at bare minimum, but I know all the ones I've looked at (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia) require at least First Responder or EMT.

There's a book I was given a few years ago...I don't remember what it was, but it basically prepared you for SARTECH 3 and SARTECH 2. Any of the SAR people out there remember what it was?

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 06:09 AM
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Fundamentals of Search and Rescue -www.nasar.org

Don't forget the national conference open to all is in Myrtle Beach SC end of May. They are offering the SAR II test as well.

You get SAR III before SAR II. To get SAR I you need (or at least you did) a First Responder or EMT - AND- SARII - AND at least 100 hours of search experience. While I have the prerequisites I never felt the need though. I took the SAR I classes but for a live search I normally stay at the IC. [SAR I is for a crewleader] - The SAR III, II, I levels are for wilderness SAR.

Nancy



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Last edited by NancyJ; 04-26-2013 at 06:11 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Fundamentals of Search and Rescue -www.nasar.org

Don't forget the national conference open to all is in Myrtle Beach SC end of May. They are offering the SAR II test as well.

You get SAR III before SAR II. To get SAR I you need (or at least you did) a First Responder or EMT - AND- SARII - AND at least 100 hours of search experience. While I have the prerequisites I never felt the need though. I took the SAR I classes but for a live search I normally stay at the IC. [SAR I is for a crewleader] - The SAR III, II, I levels are for wilderness SAR.
Thank you! I wanted to see if there was an updated version from the one I had. I was on the threshold of my 3 and was already preparing for 2.

Any tips for preparing for US&R?

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
"Go mairidís beo"
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