Georgia missing person search volunteer opportunites

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  3. Becoming a Search and Rescue Volunteer | SkyAboveUs
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Search and Rescue units do have minimum age requirements, but there is no limit to the types of people who volunteer, with all manner of backgrounds and abilities. As for me, I've been a paralegal, a medical secretary, a farm caretaker, a guide at the Grand Canyon, and an office manager at an apartment complex. And I'm currently a freelance writer. The rescue depicted in the photo above occurred on Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa, said to be one of the most difficult rescue operations in years.

For more on the story, see Thomas Sly's Flickr page.

In this situation, the remoteness of the area where the patient was hurt would have meant a very long, physically extremely difficult, and potentially dangerous extrication by ground teams So, who is qualified to become a Search and Rescue volunteer? Do you need extensive backpacking experience like I had?

Missing Person In Houston

What about medical training? Or knowing how to rock-climb? Well, those skills sure don't hurt, but they aren't necessarily prerequisites for joining a team. Some SAR units do have more training and requirements than others, in part depending on the types of missions and terrain they most often face when there's a call-out. To be considered for a spot on the team, each applicant must not only live in Hood River County, but he or she must also have summited both Mt. Hood and Mt Adams. Each organization has its own requirements -- or preferences, at least -- so you'd need to contact the team in your area to find out their specifics.

While having outdoor skills and experience is the norm for those who apply to become SAR volunteers, there is much one can learn while participating. The following is a partial list of trainings that my own team has offered since I've been a member. These courses, often involving both classroom and field instruction, are frequently taught by team members and most are free of charge.

Some are required as part of Coconino County's Basic SAR Academy, which each member must complete before receiving a pager and being able to participate in missions, while other classes are optional but highly recommended :. Many volunteers have taken the hour Wilderness First Responder WFR course, offered by the National Outdoor Leadership School and other organizations, including some colleges and universities.

Even those with an urban medical background, such as EMTs and paramedics, find WFR to be a great addition to their training. WFR teaches the first responder to deal with the less-than-ideal equipment, situations and settings often encountered during backcountry rescues, as well as improvise with whatever gear happens to be on hand.

In the photo above, students in a NOLS Wilderness First Responder course assess and stabilize a patient during a mock accident exercise. While there is plenty of classroom time during these hour courses, WFR students run through many hands-on scenarios, role-playing situations dealing with physical injuries and medical conditions of increasing complexity in backcountry settings.

There's no getting around it: Search and Rescue is often physically demanding, so a moderate to high level of fitness is definitely an asset. However, while a number of my own teammates are in excellent physical condition, others do have chronic injuries or limitations that prevent them from participating in the more physically difficult missions. Keep in mind, there are many ways to help a team aside from the primary acts of searching and rescuing.

During a mission, not every responding team member hikes up a mountain with a backpack full of equipment or rappels into a canyon, but everyone does perform a function , even if that means simply sitting tight and waiting as backup if needed. Tasks might include driving to and from staging areas so other team members can rest, helping to prepare maps and briefings for the missions as they arise, delivering food and drinks to searchers in the field, or driving perimeter roads to contain a lost subject.

Non-mission assistance can include maintaining equipment, such as vehicles and technical gear; serving on a team's Board of Directors; organizing and participating in fundraising events; representing the team at community fairs and functions, and so forth. So if you have the desire to be part of a SAR team but do have physical limitations, your help and skills in other areas can often be of great value. In many U. Just contact the Sheriff's office or other local law enforcement in your area and ask them who oversees SAR and how you can participate.

In other places, teams are independent, most often nonprofit, organizations, which you might come across by searching online. Still, the local law enforcement will most likely know how to contact the team s in the area, because they probably call on them for assistance from time to time. So the sheriff or police department is still a good place to inquire. Keep in mind, though, that not all areas have enough of the type of incidents that Search and Rescue would respond to to warrant have a designated team, so there may not be one headquartered near where you live.

If that's the case where you live and you really want to get involved with a team, you may have to travel a fair distance for trainings and missions. Your SAR pager or whatever means your team might use to call out its membership for a mission can and will go off at all hours, day and night, weekdays, weekends and holidays.

CUE Center joins in on search for AASU

Call-outs happen in all kinds of weather, no matter what you're doing. Maybe you're having dinner with your spouse at the nicest restaurant in town or reading the kids a bedtime story. Maybe you're enjoying a great movie or just getting ready to go for a jog. As a volunteer, sometimes you just won't be able to respond. You may be away on vacation or in a really important business meeting. Or maybe you're right in the middle of your own wedding. Not a great time to say, "Hey, honey, can we finish this later? I have a SAR call. You respond when you can.

Sometimes, missions are cancelled before they get started. Maybe you left the movie theater right in middle of the mushy stuff you'd been waiting for. You're halfway across town on your way to the SAR building, trying not to speed, when your pager goes off again. You fumble for the gadget, glance at it quickly so as not to rear-end the car in front of you, and the code or message tells you you can do a U-turn and go home. Sometimes, you and your teammates get to the SAR building, load all the gear and hit the road, only to drive a couple of hours to the staging area and arrive just as the subject shows up on his own.

Sometimes, the whole thing was just a bunch of misinformation and there never was an emergency or a lost or injured person to begin with. In October, , after fifty-six hours of basic training, I became a volunteer with the busy Search and Rescue team in Coconino County, Arizona, the second largest county in the U. I'm an experienced hiker, having completed a mile Appalachian Trail thru-hike and many shorter backpacking trips, but those experiences were all about taking care of me, watching my own steps, handling my own gear.

It meant learning to look for and take care of others while, at the same time, watching out for my own well-being and, as a member of a team, the safety of other volunteers. I had to learn how to track and spot clues, and what to do with those tracks and clues once I found them. Search and Rescue involves ongoing education and practice, and those learning opportunities are often at no cost to volunteers.

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Certain books have stood out for me, and I'd like to tell you about two of my favorites. So, imagine sticking a breathing tube down someone's throat. Now imagine having to do that without accidentally inserting the tube into the patient's esophagus or breaking his teeth. Then imagine doing this while kneeling on sharp rocks on a narrow ledge, as a rescue helicopter hovers above you, the downdraft threatening to blow you off your knees and that ledge while spraying you and your patient with dirt and debris. Endotracheal intubation is one of the most difficult medical procedures an ER doctor performs, and that's within the clean and controlled hospital setting with skilled assistance.

But Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg is not only an emergency doctor and a ski patrol and wilderness physician, he's also a top-notch writer. I spent a few days reading Mountain Rescue Doctor: Wilderness Medicine in the Extremes of Nature during every spare moment even a paragraph at a red light, I must admit. Along with insights into the ethical challenges a wilderness physician faces and the techniques and tools of backcountry medicine, Tilburg describes many suspenseful missions.

Becoming a Search and Rescue Volunteer | SkyAboveUs

One account involves a call to Columbia River Gorge, where he intubated an unconscious patient who'd fallen from a cliff. Another chapter concerns the rescue of an injured and hypothermic man who'd fallen onto a logjam. Tilman writes about rescuing cliff divers with spinal injuries, rushing to rescue a trapped climber within the "Golden Hour," treating the victim of a rattlesnake bite, and participating in a grizzly body recovery at the scene of a mountain plane crash.

Tilman has been involved in numerous high-altitude winter missions, including a much-publicized search for three missing climbers on Mt. My only disappointment was that, in certain cases, the reader is left wondering what became of the victims Dr. Tillman had worked so hard to save.

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Did they live? Then I happened across a blog post by the author, in which he states that, "Yes, several chapters don't really say what happens to the patient. That's part of the deal with mountain rescue missions: we hand off the patients to a helicopter or ground ambulance crew and sometimes we never find out the end result.

As any member of a SAR unit knows, that statement is very true. The last we sometimes see or hear of a patient is when they're whisked into the sky in a Stokes litter, spinning at the end of a foot rope. This is a book about eight amazing rescue missions off the coast of southeastern Alaska, culminating in the edge-of-your-seat account of the Coast Guard's efforts to save the lives of five crewmen from the fishing vessel La Conte , which sunk in mile per hour storm winds and record foot seas in January, Without a life raft, the men are left to drift in the freezing water for hours, as three different helicopter crews try in turn to save them.

Author Spike Walker worked for years as a deckhand in Alaska. He researched "Coming Back Alive" meticulously, through hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors. This is one of those "I don't care how tired I'll be at work tomorrow, I have to keep reading" books. Follow USCG. This book is a bit pricey, yes although lower priced used books are often available on Amazon , but for good reason.

Regardless of whether you take the test, this book is still valuable.

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It provides an overview of all aspects of search and rescue procedures and equipment.