While SAR trains all members in basic rescue skills like rope systems, basic emergency medicine and tracking, not all SAR members will ever climb 5.12 rock, ski 70 degree slopes, or run for miles to clear trail.

When we need specialized skills, we rely on our special teams.

SAR special teams consist of team members with experience and training in areas including:

  • Cave
  • Communications/Radio
  • Dive (SCUBA)
  • ELT (downed aircraft)
  • Fleet
  • Flat Ice
  • K9
  • Mass Casualty
  • Medical
  • Mountain Rescue Team
  • Open Water
  • Singletrack (motorcycles)
  • Swiftwater
  • Tracking

Many SAR teams around the nation only require a few special skills. Other teams may only call members when their specific expertise is needed. One enjoyable aspect of participating on the Utah County SAR team is the need for various exciting skills and the opportunity to learn basic or advanced skills in as many fields as the member wants.

Each team has a sergeant tasked with organizing trainings for all interested team members to keep up on skills and teamwork, keeping up to date on rescue techniques and gear, and submitting budget requests for team gear and training as needed.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Special Teams”

  1. Ronald Mondragonon 30 Nov 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Dear SAR, I am very interested in your K9 unit. I am adept at training and working with dogs. I have a personal history of training hunting dogs, both pointers and retrievers. I was also a member of NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association). Now I would like to put my ability to good use. Please contact me with as much information as possible.

    Thank You,


    [Last name and phone number removed for privacy]

  2. Shaun Roundyon 02 Dec 2008 at 12:13 am

    Thanks for your interest, Ronald.

    I’ll pass your message along to our K9 special team. We have several dog handlers who practice on a regular basis and have been used extensively for avalanche recoveries and other missions.

    Our team interviews annually in October for new members, then trains them while they participate actively during the following year. We can always use a few more dedicated members, especially with special skills like yours. You can find an application form on the http://www.ucssar.org website.

    If you haven’t already, you might also check with Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs http://www.rockymountainrescuedogs.net/), another locally active rescue dog association who we often cooperate with.

    Shaun Roundy

  3. Jakeon 23 Jun 2011 at 10:07 pm

    What specifically is tracking? Is it what i think it is…? Man tracking? I have been looking to go to several schools to learn this skill better. Is there still a sub team on UCSSAR?


  4. Robert Stearmeron 13 Dec 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Interested in best resources for training a dog in search and rescue. Lot’s of stuff on the internet, but someone in your organization may be able to point me in the right direction to get started.

    Robert Stearmer
    Vernal, UT

  5. Shaun Roundyon 15 Dec 2011 at 2:27 am

    Here’s a response from my sister-in-law, from Bountiful, who is extremely involved in the Utah K9 scene:

    There are three main dog groups in the greater Salt Lake Area:

    Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs http://www.rockymountainrescuedogs.com/

    Wasatch Back http://www.wbrescue.org/

    Utah Search Dogs – contact Nancy Hachmeister.

    All have good people in them. All of them have different criteria for both you and your dog. There are fewer and fewer call outs as people use GPS and cell phones.

    There is also a FEMA canine handler position (collapsed buildings, disaster) through Utah’s Task Force 1. They usually accept applications in January. They require that you be an EMT prior to applying. Some years they hire and some years they don’t.

    Hope this helps!

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