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UMFK to offer Search and Rescue Fundamentals course

January 15, 2008

NR08005

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will offer a two-credit course entitled Search and Rescue Fundamentals as part of its spring 2008 schedule. The course is offered as part of the Rural Public Safety program in cooperation with the Academic Outreach office.

The course will be held on Tuesdays beginning March 18 and runs through April 29. Classes will take place on the campus from 6:30 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., as well as Saturday field sessions and one late night mock search. The cost of the course is approximately $370.

"It will cover the responsibilities, skills, and equipment needed to be part 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."

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.

The course is ideal for emergency services and public safety personnel, sporting guides, youth group leaders, hikers, canoeists, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The instructor is Sgt. Brian Gray of the Maine Warden Service, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Gray is the supervisor for the Northern Aroostook region and has worked for the Maine Warden Service for twenty years.

"I think people will learn some valuable skills and have fun as well," said Gray. He is hopeful that the course will provide a core of people who can be an effective part of a search team. The Warden Service is in charged with coordination and implementation of most search and rescue operations in the state of Maine.

“This course complements our two-day Wilderness First Aid course, which will be offered this spring at UMFK,” added Eno. “This course provides a three certification in CPR and wilderness first aid from Wilderness Medical Associates.”

Participants in the Search and Rescue Fundamentals course must be at least 16 years of age. Proof of parental consent is required if you are 16 or 17. For more information regarding the course, contact Eno at 207- 834-7835 or visit the campus to pick-up a spring 2008 schedule.