Class Descriptions

This is an introductory look at current FAA requirements to legally fly small UAVs for SAR missions with a variety of air space and environmental considerations. Selecting the appropriate aircraft and equipment for the SAR mission. Looking at technology and mapping software to document searches and critical incidents. Examining some basic techniques and principals to safely fly and maximize the UAV role in searches and critical incidents. This session will give you an overview of the UAV in the SAR mission and provide an opportunity to ask questions and share your experience regarding how to fly a UAV safely, and legally. At the conclusion of the lecture, there will be a brief UAV Demo giving you the opportunity to see a one in action!

Updates on new trends for rope rescue in a wilderness setting. We will discuss and build dual capability twin tension rope systems and show how they can simplify training, expedite the rescue and improve system safety. Why there is a movement away from the traditional loaded main and slack belay rope systems. New ways to consider static system safety factors and an opportunity to use new rope and hardware.

National, State, Local SAR - This is your chance to hear what is happening as a result of national as well as statewide efforts with SAR. Your State SAR Coordinator will present a briefing as to what is happening Nationwide and how it will affect the State SAR program and you. From FEMA/NIMS resource typing to FEMA/NIMS SAR credentialing, to California’s Mutual Aid Guidelines to Legislation. Your State SAR Coordinator, your County SAR Coordinators, and your Sheriffs are very busy protecting and improving upon the State SAR program. This session will give you the details as well as give you the opportunity to share your concerns, opinions, or ideas. This is your chance to spend time with your State SAR Coordinator and view the “Big Picture” as well as have the opportunity to express your thoughts.

Students will learn how to train for harsh events like a wildfire deployment with their canine. What to look out for when searching, ie dangers for the handler, for their canine and for the remains.

This course will go over the responsibilities of being a ground searcher partnered up with a K9 team. It will discuss delegation of responsibilities and how best to work with the different disciplines of K9 SAR (Area, Trailing, Human Remains, Water). Being a ground searcher partnered with a K9 team is a critical role in the success of that team. Working as a team is critical in the field. Knowing what may be expected will help streamline the process and make the collaboration more successful. The dogs are easier to work with than the handlers but I will do my best to help you understand their expectations. For: Ops, Ground Searchers, K9 handlers. 1 hr. teaching, 1 hr. hands-on.

Scent article collection can be compared to evidence collection from a crime scene. If you tamper with or contaminate the "evidence" you can mess up the entire case. The same is true with the scent articles. Collecting a good scent article requires some investigation on what is the best article and why. Who, what,when and why's can be applied here. Who has touched what, when and why. Working with a contaminated article can be accomplished but must be communicated to the K9 handler. The objective of this course is to enable Incident Command to be able to assign a skilled scent article collection person to collect articles prior to the K9 teams arrival. This will expedite the search efforts by saving minutes (sometimes hours) for the K9 handler having to collect the article once they arrive on scene. For: Ops, Deputies, Ground Searchers.

This first part of this presentation will work to clarify when and how to use trailing dogs, with examples from both wilderness and urban search scenarios.

• When/where to use trailing versus area teams?

• Framing your resource request: When to call and what to ask for

• How to prepare for the arrival of trailing teams: Support resources and discipline-specific briefing information

• Collecting scent articles

• Understanding Limiting Factors, Hazards, and distractions

The second part of the presentation will share specific scenarios in wilderness and urban searches that demonstrate the value of tactics that increase the information you can gain from trailing resources. (especially when the initial search efforts have failed to produce results). Additionally, we will provide examples based on mission experiences of the challenges encountered by trailing dogs and explain the key roles played by canine support persons when working with trailing dogs.

Lost person behavior is the cornerstone of search and rescue efforts. Based upon a landmark study, this course is based on the book Lost Person Behavior – A Search and Rescue Guide on Where to Look - for Land, Air, and Water by Robert Koester (published 2008 by dbS Publications), and is the definitive guide to solving the puzzle of where a lost person might be found. This course will cover the latest information and research found in the book regarding the lost person behavioral profiles. Particular emphasis is placed on the latest research concerning Alzheimer's, despondents, mentally retarded, psychotic, abducted children, cross country skiers, mountain bikers as well as 41 separate categories of lost or missing persons. The participant will learn important background information, its implications for search and rescue, how to establish a prevention program, search statistics, behavioral statistics, and how to plan a search for each subject type. Additional discussion will cover behavioral profiles, urban verses wilderness statistics, suggested initial tasks, and specialized investigative questions. The participants will have the opportunity to work several practical scenarios.

Every day around the world, persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia become confused and disoriented and wander off from their care givers. Law enforcement officers, and search and rescue teams, are often called to respond to these persons missing at risk incidents. These calls are becoming more and more commonplace, yet those responding underestimate the severity of danger that a wandering Alzheimer’s person faces. This presentation will provide the first responder with an introduction of the needed information and skills to successfully manage these types of incidents.

Interviewing is an important part of search investigation and yet is often a hastily done and incomplete task. In many searches especially in an urban environment, an interview may be the largest generator of clues on where to search. This presentation/workshop will discuss why we need to interview and compare and contrast interview and interrogation in law enforcement and the unique requirements and needs in the Search and Rescue world. It will probe the "how to" mechanics of conducting a good interview from the setting for the interview, to the demeanor of the interviewer, to the type of in depth questions and how the information gathered can be used to paint a mental picture and profile of the missing subject. This information can then be used to assist the planning function in establishing where to look and the best use of SAR resources. The discussions will include initial and post search interviewing, as well as telephone and door-to- door interviewing. The workshop will also include interview practice exercises. Mr. Young also will have his new book available, “Intelligent Search – Managing the Intelligence Process in the Search for Missing Persons”.

This course will prepare ground pounder teams to work alongside wilderness Trailing, Area, and HRD (Human Remains Detection) teams in the field. How and when to deploy each type of team and how dogs can best support LE with the search mission. Where you should be when walking with these teams, your possible role(s) on a dog team, and how to spot a "change in behavior" by the dog, and report it to the handler. Includes demonstrations by search dog teams.

This course will prepare students for the unexpected event they need to stay in the field for an unplanned amount of time. How and where to build a shelter, how and where to obtain water, and how to get found by LE or other searchers. Students will demonstrate shelter building techniques, water stills, and emergency only fire building.

This survival class is NOT a K9 track class. You can put it with any track you feel appropriate.

How to recognize, search, document and preserve a crime scene

What SHRD is and when to call them.

Course Relevant to K9 units, K9 Field Techs, GSAR, IC, on scene Operations, and anyone who wants to learn more about trailing dogs. This is a hands-on field course designed to enhance and improve the Trailing Dog starts and negatives. Having a PLS (place last seen) is just the beginning. This course is designed to discuss on scene SAR personnel preservation of the PLS prior to the trailing dog’s deployment and teach specific ways to enhance the Trailing handler’s starts. We will select specific hypothetical PLS locations, identify the “rock-paper-scissors” of each location, discuss the different methods of the start, set up the starts and then utilize a few trailing dogs to demonstrate the effectiveness of chosen options. Class members will participate and learn how to best utilize the environmental elements to their advantage for each start location. At the end of this course each participant will walk away with significant and relevant information and practical methods to provide the best possible start scenario for the K9 Trailing Dog. The last portion of the course will discuss and demonstrate exercises to improve the trailing dog’s negatives. In other words, how to get solid negatives. Solid negatives help narrow a search and can provide crucial time saving information back to IC. There is no space limitation for this course. Anyone interested in offering their K9 as a “demo dog” can email the instructor Angelyn Gates at

Course relevant for K9 Handlers and Law Enforcement To be discussed are handler pitfalls and previous criminal cases where K9 volunteer and police officer handlers’ training and testimony have become focal points in court - sometimes to the detriment of the legal process. Expert testimony and comment regarding training and testing protocols will be discussed. Knowledge of current and past legal standards is helpful in order to be prepared for the time when a search is, or becomes, a criminal investigation. Should K9 SAR volunteers be used by law enforcement in criminal investigations? The pros and cons will be discussed. Are there ways to protect the integrity of the criminal investigation and justice system when using SAR volunteers? Past cases will be used to encourage discussion and provide context. This course is designed for anyone who is, or has considered, working an evidence HRD dog and law enforcement officers who use, or have considered using, SAR K9 volunteers in criminal investigations.

  • Define Autism Spectrum Disorder and increase awareness of common traits associated with Autism

  • Understand the unique characteristic of ASD that have a direct impact on safety

  • Introduce tactics and techniques to increase effectiveness when responding to and treating people with ASD in emergency situations