OSWEGO and ONONDAGA COUNTIES - The Oswego and Onondaga County Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams will hold an informational meeting Wednesday, Dec. 1, for prospective new members who are interested in joining a volunteer search and rescue team. The teams will offer a joint training academy in late winter and spring of 2022.
The informational meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the Clay Town Highway Garage, 4483 State Route 31, Clay. Members of the Oswego County Pioneer and the Onondaga County Wilderness Search and Rescue teams will be on hand to talk about the training program and discuss what is involved in being a member of a search and rescue team.
Classes will be held on Wednesday nights and one or two weekend days a month. The 75-hour curriculum is a thorough introduction to search and rescue techniques and meets the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) minimum requirements for search and rescue training.
“The training academy is open to all interested individuals, regardless of where they reside, and is offered at $150 per student to cover the cost of student manuals and supplies,” said Aaron Albrecht, Team Coordinator of the Oswego County Pioneer SAR Team. “Applicants do not need to live in Oswego or Onondaga counties. Students should be in good health, must be at least 18 years of age, and capable of passing a moderate physical fitness test.”
The SAR Academy will cover topics such as map and compass, global positioning systems, grid searches, man-tracking, wilderness survival, radio communications, search techniques, cold weather emergencies, crime scene preservation, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and a variety of other topics.
“The Oswego and Onondaga county teams frequently train together and support each other in mutual aid searches for lost persons in Central New York and across New York State,” said Jason Baleno, Wilderness SAR Team Coordinator.
Class size is limited to 20 students.
Students who complete the academy will be certified as a 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 the necessary training and skill practice to certify as a NYS DEC ASTM Level I Searcher once they acquire actual SAR experience. Students are expected to attend all classes, complete all assignments, and pass all written and practical testing.
The Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue Team is an all-volunteer unit, founded in 1971, and funded through community donations and grants. The team is the primary Search and Rescue resource for Oswego County and works closely with the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department, the NYS DEC Forest Rangers, NYS Police, and other law enforcement agencies.
The Onondaga County Wilderness Search and Rescue Team is also an all-volunteer unit and was founded in 1979. The team is funded through community donations and grants and is the primary Search and Rescue resource for Onondaga County.
Both teams work closely with their respective sheriff’s departments, the NYS DEC Forest Rangers, NYS Police, other law enforcement agencies, and the NYS Federation of Search and Rescue Teams.
Completed applications, including references and a check for $150, should be mailed to Oswego County Search and Rescue Team, PO Box 229, Parish, NY 13131-0229. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 31, 2022.
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.