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UMFK to offer search and rescue course this fall

August 26, 2005

NR05125

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will be offering a two credit course entitled Search and Rescue Fundamentals as part of its fall 2005 schedule.

Coordinated by UMFK's academic outreach office, the class is ideal for emergency services and public safety personnel, sporting guides, youth group leaders, hikers, canoeists, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Participants may also take the course as part of the UMFK's rural public safety administration program.

The course will run from September 6 through October 25. Classes will take place on the Fort Kent campus from 6:30 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday evenings, as well as some Saturday field sessions and one late night mock search.

Participants will gain knowledge concerning the general responsibilities, skills, abilities, and equipment needed by persons who are assigned to field operations during a search and rescue (SAR) mission.

"It will cover the necessary information for an individual to be a most effective member of a search team," said Donald Eno, coordinator of academic outreach at UMFK. "We worked closely with the Maine Warden Service and Maine Association of Search and Rescue to design this course."

Instructing the class will be Sgt. Brian K. Gray of the Maine Warden Service, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Gray has worked for the Maine Warden Service for eighteen years and is the supervisor for the Northern Aroostook region.

"I think people will learn some valuable skills and have fun as well," said Gray.

The Warden Service officer is hopeful that the course will provide a core of people who can be an effective part of a search team. The Service is charged with coordination and implementation of most search and rescue operations in the state of Maine.

Participants must be at least 16 years of age to take part in this course. Sixteen and seventeen year olds must have proof of parental consent.

UMFK will also be offering an eight week introductory course to Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. This will be a hands-on course that will instruct people how to use GPS units for a variety of purposes. The class meets Friday afternoons and is a one credit course.

"This basic course compliments the advanced search and rescue planning course recently held at UMFK." added Eno.

The summer planning course brought in Air Force instructors from Virginia and had attendees from Colorado, Pennsylvania and Canada, as well as a number of SAR personnel from around Maine.

For more information regarding the courses, contact Eno at 834-7835 or to register contact the registrar's office at 834-5720 or stop by the campus to pick up a UMFK fall semester 2005 course guide.