I found out about this training with the Pacific NW Trackers Assoc. and thought I'd put it out there to all of you in case any of you are also interested. The next training session is on Feb. 9th. Training is free and good info and could eventually get involved in rewarding activities.
Pacific NW Trackers Association
The Pacific Northwest Trackers Association is a fully qualified, non-profit organization dedicated to using tracking skills for search and rescue. Our group began during the fall of 1979 when many of us had our first tracking class. A group of us started getting together on a regular basis to improve our tracking skills and during fall of 1981 our group decided to get involved in search and rescue. In the spring of 1982 we approached the King County Search and Rescue Association (KCSARA) and gained acceptance in KCSARA as an independent Unit during the fall of 1982. During this time we became aquatinted with Joel Hardin of Universal Tracking Services (UTS), who continues to mentor our training in the art of tracking.
Our training consists of monthly practices at which we follow lines of sign and analyze various Place Last Seen (PLS) scenarios as outlined in detail in Part 2 of this manual. We supplement our Unit training with courses offered annually by Universal Tracking Services with Joel Hardin as the chief instructor.
Our role in King County is: Lost person search in non-technical terrain and evidence search. Additionally, we provide training to other interested search and rescue groups.
The primary objective of the Trackers Association is to facilitate the rescue of lost or missing persons by finding and following the subjects tracks. Time is critical in any search and tracking often provides clues that accelerate finding the lost or missing person. All field trackers qualify with proper equipment and demonstrated skills as required by the Pacific Northwest Tracker Association and KCSARA. Trackers are trained in navigation, map and compass, first aid, evacuation, communications, and search theory.
Our Unit capabilities include:
1) Wilderness lost person search
2) Evidence search
3) Urban search
4) Instruction in basic tracking
5) We have the ability to respond to search missions through out the state if activated by King County.
6) We publish a monthly newsletter and maintain a web site dedicated to promoting tracking in search and rescue.
The Pacific Northwest Trackers Association is the only Search and Rescue Unit in Washington that is exclusively dedicated to tracking and the development of techniques to implement tracking in search and rescue. Our membership is actively growing and we continue to seek volunteers who are interested in Search and Rescue Tracking. In addition we provide the opportunity for our members to persue certification at all Tracking Levels as defined by UTS.
Our New Member training is coming up next month.
When: February 9, 2002 - 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Where: The training will be at the Bellevue Branch of the King County Library, meeting room #4, 1111 110th Ave NE in Bellevue.
Directions: From 405 take NE 8th street west bound into Bellevue. Turn right on 110th Ave proceed 3 blocks. Library is on the left.
What to bring: Notepad and pen. Lunch, the library allows food in the meeting room so bring a sack lunch.
The training will consist of an orientation lecture, video, and slide show. An 8 hour outdoor training will take place on the following weekend. You must attend the indoor session to participate in the outdoor session. County rules mandate that all participants fill out an Emergency Worker Registration Form before being allowed in a field exercise. The Sheriff's Office will conduct a background check on all emergency workers. Information about the outdoor session will be provided at the indoor session.
My manager at work is currently getting certified for Search & Rescue and loves it so far (he's even training a rescue dog). Sounds like something cool to do if I was in decent shape and had some inkling of wilderness skills. I don't guess they want any S&R photographers.
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