Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Dec. 29, 2017

Application Deadline is Jan. 31 -
Search and Rescue Team Will Offer Training Class in Spring 2018

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue team will conduct its fourth Search and Rescue (SAR) Academy in late winter and spring of 2018. The class size is limited to 20 students. Classes will start Feb. 28 and end June 10. The Academy will be held in various locations in Oswego and Onondaga counties.

Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings and one to two weekend days a month. The curriculum provides a thorough introduction to Search and Rescue and meets the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's minimum training requirements.

"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," said Search and Rescue team director Aaron Albrecht.

Individuals who successfully complete the Academy will be certified as NYS DEC Basic Wildlands Searchers and certified in Wilderness First Aid, American Heart Association CPR, Project Lifesaver Electronic Search Specialist, and will receive 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 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 Search and Rescue (OCSAR) 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, NYS DEC Forest Rangers, NYS Police, and other law enforcement agencies. The team is dispatched through the county's E-9-1-1 system and is recognized as a public safety agency.

"Although the team's primary response area is Oswego County, we actively participate in searches across the state when additional resources are needed. In 2017, the team responded to 36 calls for service," said Albrecht.

More information can be found at the team's web site at http://oswegocountysar.com/.

Individuals interested in attending the Academy should obtain an application at the team's web site. Completed applications, along with a check for $100, should be mailed to: 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 Jan. 31, 2018.

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