Two or more foot searchers are dispatched from the command post, each unit with a radio and their packs depending on the terrain and location of the search. Teams receive maps of the area, an assignment, and a briefing regarding the subject. They search their assigned areas conducting voice call outs, looking for tracks and other clues. These teams can expect to either stay in the field for extended periods, or go through several shorter assignments.
Search Dogs utilized can be air-scent or trailing dogs. These dogs have extensive training before they are certified to be used by Del Norte County Search and Rescue. Some are CARDA certified. An air-scent dog will locate anybody in a certain area; they are excellent for clearing large areas. These teams consist of the dog handler, the dog (of course), and one or more search team members.
Currently Air Patrol is provided to us by the US Coast Guard, California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, and the National Guard. These agencies assist us when conditions permit. They are useful in conducting visual searches clearing large areas rapidly. They use spotters and fly over the search area in an effort to spot clues or subjects. They are also useful when we cannot reach remote areas with our radios or repeater system. They orbit overhead while monitoring and relaying radio traffic from the command post to remote field teams.
Law enforcement officers are utilized mainly in urban searches. They conduct a cursory search of the area by putting out a BOLO (be on the lookout) to all their units. They provide us with investigative information and ground support. They are useful in following up on leads turned up by the search teams or by management.
Mutual Aid in our area is called CORSAR. Calls from surrounding areas go out when our search resources are used to their limits. All state agencies have a mutual aid agreement that says, “We will come when you need help.” Area teams communicate monthly and retain a working knowledge of the other teams.
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If you have questions about the Del Norte Search and Rescue Team, send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.