Wilderness Search and Rescue

Aims of the Course

To provide the student with the necessary knowledge, skills and insight needed to safely and effectively co-ordinate and or participate in a wilderness search and rescue operation. Also to provide students with the insight needed to classify wilderness area and have an appreciation for the possible dangers and or particular problems associated with operating in each type of wilderness area.

Course Duration

Rescue should not be attempted by individuals who have not been formally trained. Local Rescue Authorities, Fire Departments, Departments of Defence, Emergency Medical Services, etc. may be able to provide information on Wilderness Search and rescue training, practice, and equipment, and organizations that are actively looking for members to employ within their organization. The Wilderness Search and rescue module will take between 2 to 3 weeks to complete, this will include theory classes as well practicals which will be carried out in an urban and wilderness setting.

Course Description

Wilderness search and rescue refers to search and rescue activities that occur in a mountainous environment, although the term is sometimes also used to apply to search and rescue in other wilderness environments. This tends to include mountains with technical rope access issues, snow, avalanches, ice, crevasses, glaciers, alpine environments and high altitudes. The difficult and remote nature of the terrain in which mountain rescue often occurs has resulted in the development of a number of specific pieces of equipment and techniques. Helicopters are often used to quickly extract casualties, and search dogs may be used to locate them

Ground search and rescue is the search for persons who are lost or in distress on land or inland waterways. Traditionally associated with wilderness zones, ground search and rescue services are increasingly required in urban and suburban areas to locate persons with Alzheimer's disease, autism, dementia, or other conditions that lead to wandering behavior. Ground search and rescue missions that occur in urban areas should not be confused with "Urban SAR", which in many jurisdictions refers to the location and extraction of people from collapsed buildings or other entrapments. Some ground search teams also employ search and rescue dogs.