Friday, 01 February 2013 08:30

Oswego County Search and Rescue team plans SAR academy

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     The Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue (OCSAR) team is conducting its first SAR Academy to be held in the later winter, spring of 2013. Class size is limited to 24 and classes run from March 7-June 16.

     The academy will be held primarily at the Oswego County Emergency Response and Training Center, 720 E. Seneca St., Oswego. Classes will be held on Thursday nights and one-to weekend days a month.
     The curriculum will provide a thorough introduction to Search and Rescue and meets the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's minimum training requirements.
     The SAR Academy will cover topics such as map and compass, global positioning systems, man-tracking, wilderness survival, radio communications, search techniques, cold weather emergencies, crime scene preservation, the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) and a variety of other topics. For an individual who completes the academy, they will be a certified NYS Dec Basic Wildlands Searcher, certified in Wilderness First Aid, American Heart Association CPR, certified as a Project Lifesaver Electronic Search Specialist, and will receive all of the necessary training and skill practice to certify as a NYS DEC ASTM Level I Searcher, once they have the required actual SAR experience.
     The academy is open to all interested individuals and is offered at $100 per student to cover the cost of student manuals and supplies. Applicants do not need to reside in Oswego County. Students should be in good health, at least 18 years of age, and capable of passing a moderate physical fitness test. Graduates of the academy who are accepted onto a local SAR team may be eligible to have their course fee reimbursed.
     OCSAR is an all-volunteer unit, founded in 1971, and funded through community donations and grants. They are the primary Search and Rescue resource for the county working closely with the Oswego County Sheriff's Department, the NYS DEC Forest Rangers, NYS Police, and other law enforcement agencies. The team is dispatched through the county's 9-1-1 system and is recognized as a public safety agency. Although the team's primary response area is Oswego County, they actively participate in searches across the state when additional resources are needed. In 2012, the team responded to 63 calls for service.
    For an application to attend the academy, contact either Scott or Phyllis Morehouse via e-mail at [email protected] or at 315-935-4373.
    All applicants will be contacted and interviewed prior to selection to the academy.

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