Ozarks Outdoors to host search and rescue course

Release Date: 12/15/2011

Clarksville, Ark. --- The Ozarks Outdoors program at University of the Ozarks will host a Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FunSAR) course during the month of January.

The FunSAR course is a 45-50+ hour course offered through the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR). Designed to teach participants the basics of land-based search and rescue operations, the class provides hands-on practical exercises, including a practice overnight search mission. Although the course focuses on wilderness environments, the material is recommended for all search and rescue (SAR) environments and is considered the national standard for SAR.

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue

Ozarks Outdoors will host a Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FunSAR) course in January 2012.

The class will take place over two consecutive weekends, January 20-22, and January 27-29 (view the course schedule).

During the first weekend, the course will teach basic skills needed for SAR. The classroom instruction will begin with an overview of land search and rescue, and will continue on to cover other relevant topics including search and rescue systems, legal and ethical aspects of SAR, survival and improvisation, safety in SAR environments, and SAR resources and technology. On Saturday afternoon, January 22, the course will move to the outdoor navigation site, where participants will learn outdoor land navigation and outdoor practical skills.

The focus on the second weekend will be learning and testing outdoor skills. After two hours in the classroom covering the fundamentals of search operations and rope rescue equipment, all participants will take the written test for the course, then proceed to the field practical skills testing, where they will practice fire starting, discuss personal waste disposal, learn about knots and improvised harness, and practice lane and route search techniques. The Mock Search will begin on Saturday evening, and continue through to Sunday morning.

Participants must attend all sessions and take part in all activities during both weekends in order to pass the course. The course is physically demanding, so individuals with medical problems or physical limitations should carefully consider whether or not they should sign up for the course. Because participant safety is of utmost importance, the Lead Instructor for the course reserves the right to remove students from the course when that student's participation could put him or her at risk. Appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear is mandatory. Participants will be required to provide their own gear and equipment for the course, including the equipment needed for the 24-hour pack used during the overnight search. See the FunSAR Information for Students for full details.

While the FunSAR course teaches the skills needed to obtain NASAR SARTECH II national certification, participants will not receive certification by taking the course. However, the FunSAR written text is exactly the same as the written test for SARTECH II, so students who pass the FunSAR course need only challenge the SARTECH II skills testing to obtain certification. For information about challenging the SARTECH II skills testing, visit the NASAR website.

The cost for the course is $170, which is due by January 6, 2012. Each participant must purchase a textbook for the course, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (ISBN: 0763748072), available for $39.95 from the NASAR bookstore. Those interested in signing up for the course may register online, or contact Ozarks Outdoors at 479-979-1-FUN (1386).