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Spoke with my city manager tonight. He confirmed scout units CAN be mobilized for CERT activities in the event of a disaster. SAR is another issue. They will use unit-based crews for SAR as a back up set of resources, mostly likely as supply or restocking missions.

 

He said anyone interested in forming such crews should contact your local authorities and see what basic training they require and any restrictions they may have.

 

My guys aare going to be excited!

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I am involved with SAR in Civil Air Patrol(CAP).  CAP is the civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force.

 

We use cadets (12-21 yrs. old) in the SAR role.  Here are some of the issues encountered using cadets in a SAR environment.

 

Most agencies that are involved in SAR (police,fire, emergency management) won't deal with you if your members aren't 18 years old.  Now some support activities like communications and admin can be performed by cadets/scouts at a mission base or emergency operations center (EOC).  To be directly involved in the field on a search will take you as a scout leader having a good working relationship with the SAR folks in your area.

 

After your folks get all the training, then what?  I always try to temper/guide young peoples excitement about SAR to a realistic level.  Try to introduce them to CERT and SAR in a way that prepares them for the unexpected, but also ground them in the realities of how far they can take that knowledge.  In Missouri, we train to search for missing aircraft.  We don't get a lot of those missions and we tell people that.  We don't exaggerate our mission because you frustrate people they get bored and quit. 

 

You need to explain to your students that they are not supermen, not to run into burning buildings because they have CERT training, etc.  I have seen cadets and adults alike get a little SAR training  and show up at the next training class with a ton of very expensive gear (they are told NOT to do so of course) ready to save the world all by themselves.

 

I would suggest to search for a CAP squadron in your area to  train in SAR with some of there folks.  You won't have to reinvent the wheel with training materials.  They might be able to get your folks involved in a training mission.

 

I'm glad you are introducing your folks to CERT/SAR.  It helps people to learn to serve others and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  Good luck. 

 

 

 

 

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@@DenLeader2, our city was very specific about what they would/would not allow our unit to do for CERT. Mostly support roles for the main CERT team or support for the first responder units (e.g. fire house logistics, police logistic support, runners, etc.). Our unit CERT training must comply with the minimum required by the city...which is essentially their CERT course used as a baseline.

 

SAR is much different as you point out. Support is limited to base camp or remote camp logistics. We must have at minimum of 3 trained adults and the boys are under our supervision. So if we were to support a remote camp the boys would be under our supervision. As you point out only older Scouts over 18 would be allowed to help BUT they must have certifications (i.e., climbing, aviation, etc.) for any role they would assist with.

 

CERT seems a more likely role for us. SAR, as much as we may want to help, will not be the in-the-thick-of-it type searches. Lost hiker? Sure! Avalanche rescue? Nope.

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