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Madera Co. Search & Rescue Recruiting Volunteers

MADERA COUNTY – To save a life would you hike into forbidden wilderness, ascend a mountain peak, crawl into an abandoned mineshaft, trudge through hot sand or plunge into racing white water rapids?

Volunteers with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue team do all that and more in their struggle to provide life-saving services to those in need.

Searches can be as grueling as they are time consuming. Sheriff’s volunteers come from all walks of life, but have one thing in common compassion for their fellow man.

If you fit this description, Madera County’s nationally recognized Search & Rescue Team is looking for you.

Chiquito Creek SR 5-18-09 - photo courtesy Madco SheriffSearch & Rescue is now accepting applications, The application forms can be picked up at either the Sheriff’s main office at 14143 Road 28 in Madera or the Sheriff’s substation in Oakhurst, 48267 Liberty Drive.

Interested candidates are asked to submit their applications no later than Dec. 31, to the attention of Sgt. Jim Bernardi.

You must be 18 or older to apply. The Madera County Sheriff’s Department provides training. Novice newcomers are more than welcome.

Madera County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue (SAR) Team operates under the direction and supervision of the Madera County Sheriff’s Department. The organization is open to motivated volunteers.

Stranded hikers rescued 2004  - photo courtesy Madco SheriffMadera Search & Rescue not only plays a critical role in emergency call-outs in Madera County, but the nationally certified unit also provides mutual aid in a number of counties throughout the state and country.

All members must complete extensive training in survival skills, tracking, land navigation, map & compass, ropes/knots, first aid and CPR, and must pass written and field-testing in order to meet national standards established by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR).

Applicants accepted into the program will undergo a 100 hour class and field training course that covers the following:

· Incident Command System

· SAR Crime Scene Awareness

· Land Navigation

· Basic Rope Rescue

· Helicopter Safety

· Radio Communications

· Search Technique

Madera County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team is trained and certified to carry out the following missions in regards to both rescue and recovery operations:

· 4X4 Team

· Dive/Swiftwater Team

· Technical Rescue Team

· Snowmobile Team

· Communication Team

· Medical Team

· Incident Management Team

· OHV Team

If you would like to join this elite group, and begin training to provide life-saving service to your community, please stop in at the Madera County Sheriff’s Office or the Oakhurst Substation and turn in your application by Tuesday, Dec. 31. Applicants will be expected to attend an Orientation/Informational Meeting that will be held on Jan. 18 starting at 9 a.m. They will be contacted about the location and other pertinent information prior to the meeting.

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