DCSAR Outdoor Survival Training at Local Middle School

Gardnerville, NV…Members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team (DCSAR) recently provided a lesson in outdoor survival to students of Ms. Gina Solari’s 7th grade Outdoor Science class at Carson Valley Middle School.

Search and Rescue Members Rich Alexander, Carol Caman, Anne Harris, Merrilyn Noble and Annie Thomas provided the instruction.

As part of the training, students learned an easily remembered acronym of ‘STOP’ which stands for:

Stay put. – Take a moment to calm yourself. Staying put is often the best choice.

Think. – Think what you can do to more easily be located and found; think also of

how you will obtain food, water, and shelter.

Observe. – Look around. What resources are available for your use?

Plan. – Develop a plan for survival and rescue.

Survival techniques that were taught to the kids included:

– Making themselves more visible by waving a bright piece of clothing or other material to attract the attention of rescuers

– Tying pieces of bright colored clothing or material to branches of nearby trees for easy observation.

– Making a large X on the ground with branches or stones that can be seen from the air.

– Seeking temporary refuge that provides shelter but doesn’t conceal your presence from rescuers.

Students also learned how to properly equip and prepare themselves for outdoor survival before they head out on any hike or camping trip; including bringing such things as water & light snacks, a whistle, a small flashlight, and a folded plastic garbage bag (kept in a pocket) that can be used as temporary protection from the elements in any emergency.

As part of the class, DCSAR K9 handler Annie Thomas and her K9 “Gini” provided a demonstration of how dog teams work in the field to assist Search and Rescue teams in locating missing persons.

Douglas County Search and Rescue volunteers are available to present their STOP program to school age children throughout Douglas County as a free public service to help educate children to reduce their chance of becoming lost in the wilderness, and to instruct them on what to do to help search teams locate them if they should become lost.

Persons interested in the training should contact DCSAR STOP Coordinator Anne Harris at 775-782- 7539 or harris1alh@yahoo.com