Eureka Fire Protection District's Search and Rescue Team members are hosting the 2012 Canine Search and Rescue Conference for the first time, which began with canine teams arriving into Eureka Sunday. The conference runs through Friday, and is being hosted at the Wyman Center in Eureka.
The international organization for which the conference is organized is called Canine Search and Recovery, Inc. (CSAR). This entity was incorporated in the fall of 1996. The purpose of the organization is to provide training, networking and education for search dog handlers and to promote the increased use of search dogs in all aspects of detection, stated Scott Barthelmass, public information officer, Eureka Fire Protection District.
Barthelmass told Patch the Eureka team bid on the conference and is very enthused about bringing it locally.
All breeds and types of search dogs are represented in CSAR's membership. Not only are there the traditional bloodhounds, labs and shepherds, said Eureka Fire Deputy Chief Randy Gabel, malinois, rotweilers, dachshunds and mixed breeds are counted among the canines owned by CSAR members.
Search work done by CSAR dog/handler teams cover all aspects of search and detection included but not limited to missing persons, evidence recovery, arson, and cadaver recovery, said Barthelmass.
Gabel said courses in trailing, area search, land cadaver searches, and water cadaver searches will be offered.
The Eureka Fire Protection District Search and Rescue Team consists of canine, mounted, ground, and communications elements. The team is comprised of about 35 volunteers including nurses, businessmen, firefighters, police, and contractors, said Gabel.
"The Search and Rescue Team was formed in 2002 after the Eureka Fire Protection District recognized there was a need for trained volunteers when searching for lost, injured, or missing persons," said Gabel. "It has grown from a mounted only unit to a multidisciplined, self-sufficient search team with its own communications and support capabilities along with trained planning and management personnel."
The Eureka team has search and rescue expertise in:
- Incident Command / Search Operations
- Mounted Search
- Canine Search
- Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue.
All team members train year-round in back country travel, including map and compass, global positioning system (GPS) use, communications, first aid, evidence preservation, and search and rescue operations, said Gabel.
"When dispatched, each member of the team responds to the search area with their equipment, first aid supplies, and two-way radios for communication with search coordinators and other team members," he said.
"Law enforcement and fire departments across Missouri and western Illinois have repeatedly requested our Search and Rescue teams to assist in all manner of searches and other incidents requiring trained searchers," said Gabel.
Searches include locating downed aircraft, lost hunters, hikers, or children, crime scene, evidence searches, and other emergency or disaster situations.