THE GROUND TEAM
The Ground Team forms the backbone of Search and Rescue. Everyone on the Search and Rescue team is first and foremost a ground-pounder, able to navigate their way through heavy brush, over rugged hills and along rivers to find a missing subject. Ground Team members support specialty teams like K9, tracking, ATV and ropes teams in each of their endeavors on a search. When arriving on-scene, the Ground Team is responsible for assessing the terrain and determining specific search tactics.
Teams of three searchers enter the field together, utilizing maps and navigational tools like a compass or GPS to maintain a high level of accuracy within an assigned area. Ground-pounders are on the constant lookout for clues, relying on their senses and their own two feet to get them where they need to go.
WHAT IT TAKES...
Members of the Ground Team must be spot-on navigators and search strategists, knowledgeable in basic SAR skills, like tracking, incident command, helicopter safety, radio communication, crime scene preservation, ropes and rough terrain. Becoming a Ground Team member is the starting-point for any new searcher, requiring completion of the six-week Nevada County Search and Rescue training academy. Once mission ready, many ground-pounders choose to stay on the Ground Team or go on to train in other disciplines.