Types of SAR
Search and Rescue involves not only searching for missing people and rescuing injured hikers, climbers, skiers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts, but body recoveries, evidence searches and disaster response as well.
Search and Rescue has a number of definitions and categories depending on the agencies involved. Those categories and definitions include: • Mountain Rescue (aka Wilderness) SAR: Missions in this category may take place not only on mountainous terrain but also in forests and deserts, caves and canyons, on rivers and lakes, and so on. This is where my experience lies and the type of SAR this lens is really about. • K-9 SAR: involves the use of tracking, cadaver, avalanche and wilderness area search dogs. Dogs and their handlers undergo extensive and ongoing training. Many county SAR teams have K-9 units in addition to their "ground-pounders." • Mounted SAR: involves searching on horseback; Some horses are also known to have great tracking abilities, similar to air-scenting dogs. • Urban SAR: Missions take place in cities or other "front country" areas, often involving structural collapse and stranded citizens following earthquakes, storms, flooding and other natural and human-caused disasters. • Marine Search & Rescue: In the U.S., these types of missions are often carried out by the Coast Guard. • Ski Patrol: If you downhill ski or snowboard, you know who these men and women are. • Swiftwater and Dive SAR
Another Life Saved
And Who Are These People?
Both Paid And Volunteer Professionals
While some Search and Rescue professionals have paid positions, like members of the Coast Guard, specially trained National Park rangers, firefighters, Sheriff's deputies and helicopter rescue crews, many SAR participants are volunteers. In fact, with more than 1,500 Search and Rescue teams in the U.S. alone and thousands more around the world, it's quite possible that...