Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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June 28, 2013

Oswego County Search and Rescue Academy Graduates 15

Students who completed training at the Oswego County 2013 SAR Academy and their instructors include, front, Eric Svalland; first row from left, Sue Fox, Jessica French, Darlene Arena, Cathy Goulet, Debbie Palm, Hayley Jones, Sharon Kitchie, Dave Kitchie, and Aaron Albrecht; and back row, from left, Thom Benedetto, Dan Arena, Jon O'Neill, Matt Frawley, Sean Greene, Patrick Corbett, Brian Vaughn, Ron Adams. The students completed more than 90 hours of instruction and an 8-hour test in the Happy Valley Wildlife Management Area.

PARISH - Fifteen students of the county's Search and Rescue (SAR) Academy recently completed their final field testing and certification, culminating classroom and field work that started in March and entailed over 90 hours of instruction. During these last eight hours in the Happy Valley Wildlife Management Area, on Saturday, June 15, all 15 students were individually evaluated for their skills in map and compass, land navigation, global positioning systems as well as completing their field training and assessment as Project Lifesaver Basic Electronic Search Specialists.

"The 2013 Oswego County SAR Academy was the first for the team and enabled the group to shorten the time it takes to provide foundation training while ensuring that all students get the knowledge and 'hands-on' experience to safely and effectively operate as ground search resources," said Oswego County Search and Rescue Team Coordinator Roger Fox.

Conducted primarily at the County's Emergency Response Training Center, classes were provided to the students by instructors from the County SAR team, the NYS Forest Rangers, NY State Police, Oswego County Fire Instructors, and other local SAR teams. Given the success of this year's SAR Academy, plans are already underway for a 2014 Academy. As these plans are finalized, interested individuals will find additional information available in the late Fall.

The Oswego County Search and Rescue Team is an integral part of the county's response to incidents that involve lost or missing persons. The team works closely with both state and local agencies including the Oswego County Sheriff's Department, the NYS Forest Rangers, and the NY State Police. Last year the team responded to more than 40 incidents in six counties.

For more information on the Oswego County Search and Rescue Team, visit www.oswegosar.org/ or contact Fox at 315-625-7266, e-mail RogerF0X@aol.com

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