Unity College will host search and rescue training on and near its campus from October 19 through October 21.  The immersion training will require teams to sleep overnight in the woods adjacent to the campus in Unity, Maine, relying only on the items they carry for survival.

On Friday training will begin on the Unity campus before moving to Howes Pond bowl (southeast of routes 9/202 and 7). Training will move back to the Unity campus on Saturday afternoon, where the balance of the weekend will be spent.

“This training weekend is the initial session of a one-year course to bring experienced Search Team Members to a level at which they can become certified as Search Team Leaders,” noted Jim Bridge, Member, Board of Directors, Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR).  “The applicants will have requirements for developing specific experience over the next twelve months, and be required to document their work and experience for review in the fall.”

A capstone weekend will take place at the end of the training and certification process, Bridge says.

Four applicants, three instructors and several Unity College students who are members of the Unity College Search and Rescue Club will participate in the training weekend in Unity.

The MASAR has twelve certified units with approximately 120 certified searchers.  It receives approximately 30 call outs per year, though not all units in Maine participate in each call out.  The organization has specialty units that are frequently requested and deployed based on the particulars of the search and rescue.  Some of the specialty units include K9 Unit with 20 certified dog teams, three units that specialize in technical rescue and the extraction of injured persons, and also a mounted unit with eight certified horse and rider teams. The MASAR web page is online at http://mainesearchandrescue.org and they are also on Facebook.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Friday, October 19, 2012