Search and Rescue Operations Class

Search and Rescue Operations Class




This is a crash course in search and rescue operations for Kent County Search and Rescue members and invited guests. This class is designed for new Search and Rescue team members to get up to speed. The course begins with a 6 hour lecture on many aspects of search and rescue as practiced by professional teams around the United States. These topics include: SAR Resources, Legal Aspects, Incident Command, Lost Person Behavior, Rapid Search Techniques, Search Patterns, Techniques for increasing detection, Man Tracking Concepts, Containment Techniques, K9 Operations, Land Navigation, and a variety of other topics to prepare the individual to serve as a Search and Rescue responder.

Following the lecture will be practical exercises including determining AMDR, Man Tracking demonstration, K9 Demonstration, using navigation tools during a search, search patterns, techniques to increase detection, rapid search techniques, sound sweeps and a variety of other exercises to prepare the student to serve in search and rescue teams.


Incident Command System (FEMA IS-100 and IS-200) are available as free online courses at:
** You will need to attend all days/times for certification
** There will be a limit of 30 participants
** Must be in reasonably good physical shape for the practical exercises.


Equipment List:

Required Equipment:

  • Whistle – REQUIRED
  • Orienteering style Compass – REQUIRED
  • Flash light rated at least 80 Lumens (LED) -REQUIRED (the cheap $1.00 lights are unacceptable)
  • Leather Work gloves – REQUIRED
  • Eye Protection – REQUIRED
  • Canteen or Camel Back with Fresh water– REQUIRED
  • Reflective Vest – REQUIRED
  • Footwear suitable for Hiking – REQUIRED
  • 2 Glow Sticks: Red or Green – Required
  • 1 Roll of Orange, Pink or Blue Flagging / surveyors tape – Required
  • Pens / Pencil – Required
  • Note Pad – Required
  • Back Pack Suitable to carry the items along with all the equipment you are going to potentially carry in it  – Required
  • Clothing suitable for the day / environment in which we will be working. – Required

Recommended and other notes:

  • Spare Batteries for Flashlight
  • Spare flashlight
  • Multi-Tool / Pocket Knife
  • Watch
  • Rain Gear
  • Snacks Non-Perishable
  • BDUs are nice, and if you have bright colored coats, shirts, sweatshirts or hats wear them for any night training for easier visibility.


  • If you have helmets you are more than welcome to wear them.
  • Depending on what type of water carrier you use (such as a camelback style hydration pack) it can be big enough to keep your needed equipment in it.
  • Of course, there is much more that you can carry. But will you actually need it? Probably not.  Try to keep your pack light
  • When it comes to gear, please try stuff out before you plan on using it. Wearing uncomfortable boots / back pack can really ruin the training experience for you and possibly injure you. Spend some time preparing for the class and even try walking around your neighborhood with your bag before you do it in the woods.
  • Bring some snacks like granola bars / gorp / jerky with you. You’ll want a quick pick me up during the day / late at night.
  • Bring your own water for your pack YOU! should be self sufficient!
  • Rambo knives and fire-arms are not needed for this training. Please leave them at home.
  • If you’re an amateur radio operator or you have a FRS radios PLEASE bring your radio with you as we use the radios a lot during training.
  • If you are not amateur radio operator, it is highly recommended to become one. Amateur Radio is used with most volunteer SAR teams in Michigan.

Failure to bring required items for field operations will limit activities.

SAROPS Schedule

This is the tentative schedule. These times are very fluid and will change throughout the day based on how far ahead or behind we are.


8 AM –  2 PM – Lecture (Location will be sent out when you register)

3 PM –  4 PM – Drive to Field Site, we will start once everyone is on site, safety checked and assigned to team. No later than 3:00 PM hard start.  As soon as you arrive on site please get your gear ready and then come to the accountability point and sign in!

4PM – 8PM  – Field Session

8:30PM – 10:30 PM Night Search

10:30PM – 11:00 PM Wrap Up and sign out.