Oswego County Search and Rescue Team Announces SAR Academy

The Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue Team will conduct its second Search and Rescue Academy during the late winter and spring of 2014.  Class size is limited to 24 individuals. Classes will start March 6 and end June 15.

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 two 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,” said Roger Fox, Oswego County SAR coordinator.

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.

Individuals who complete the academy will be certified as NYS DEC Basic Wildlands Searcher, certified in Wilderness First Aid, American Heart Association CPR, certified as a Project Lifesaver Electronic Search Specialist, and will have received all of the necessary training and skill practice to certify as a NYS DEC ASTM Level I Searcher, once they acquire actual SAR experience.

The academy is open to all interested individuals, regardless of where they reside, 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.

Oswego County SAR is an all-volunteer unit, founded in 1971, and funded through community donations and grants.

They are the primary Search and Rescue resource for Oswego 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,” said Fox.   “In 2012, the team responded to 63 calls for service.”

More information can be found at the team’s website www.oswegosar.org

Individuals interested in attending the academy should obtain an application at the team’s website or contact Dan Arena at [email protected]

Completed applications, along with a check for $100, should be mailed to the team at: Oswego County Search and Rescue, PO Box 229, Parish, NY  13131-0229.

All applicants will be contacted and interviewed prior to selection to the academy.

As soon as the class selection is finalized, applicants will be contacted.

Individuals who are not accepted into the class will have their money refunded.

Applications must be received no later than Feb. 16.

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