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Michigan Search and Rescue

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Hello, everyone! I would like to thank all of you for showing interest in volunteering for our trainings!
As you can see, I had A LOT of interest, this time around. In the past, I have only had 3 or 4 people respond to my posts, so this was a very pleasant surprise. I think the easiest way to make sure that the same info goes to everyone, and no one gets overlooked, is to do the group message.
This first message is going to be rather long…please bear with me. I just want to put a lot of general info out there to start. So let’s start with a few basics:
1) If you decide that you no longer wish to get these messages, feel free to remove yourself from the group. No hard feelings, and thank you for your interest and participation 🙂
2) You are under no obligation to volunteer. If you only volunteer once, that’s fantastic! There is no quota that you need to fill 😉
3) A little bit about Michigan Search and Rescue: We are a non-profit, all volunteer team that utilizes certified K-9s to locate missing people. We deploy all over Michigan (both peninsulas) as well as northern Ohio and Indiana. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Because we are volunteer, and all of our personal expenses come out of our own pockets, we are able to offer our services 100% free of charge. We do hold a few fundraisers for the larger, team expenses. We never self-deploy. We only deploy on a search with permission from the Law Enforcement agency in charge of the case. We have dogs certified in Live Find, Human Remains Detection, Trailing, and Disaster.
4) Because of the size of our team, we split into regional trainings during the week. On Wednesdays, we hold “west side” trainings. These are typically Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, sometimes Battle Creek or Kalamazoo. I will not post these trainings, since they are a little farther out. On Thursdays, we hold “southeast trainings”. These are usually Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, Ann Arbor areas. If any of you are interested in those trainings, let me know. Otherwise I will also not post those. Fridays are the “east side” trainings. They tend to be in Highland, Wixom, Holly, Fenton, Davisburg areas, although we do sometimes go up to Montrose or Perry, or as far north as Sanford. These are the trainings I will post. They typically start at 4 or 5 pm, and run until 8 or 9. The specific times will be posted. If you are a little late, or cannot stay for the full training, that’s okay.
5) Every third Sunday, the entire team trains together. These trainings can be anywhere in the state, because they are hosted by individual members. They always run from 10am – 3pm. Punctuality is very important with the Sunday trainings, as is staying for the entire training. We are a little stricter at those trainings.
6) Please, (especially with Sunday trainings) only commit to a training if you are sure you can attend. If something happens and your plans change and you can no longer attend after committing, please do me the courtesy of posting to let me know. That way I won’t worry when you don’t show up. Also, if it is a Sunday training, I will know to fill your spot.
7) So, what is required from you? We just need you to hide 🙂. Dress appropriately for the woods and weather: long pants (even in summer) and closed shoes (boots are best) are required. Rain wear if needed, warm weather gear in cold weather. You can bring a cushion or blanket to sit on. You are welcome to bring a mosquito net. Do bring bug spray and sunscreen. You can bring snacks if you want, and please bring water. Anything you would like to bring to pass the time, like books, phone, tablet, is fine. Just, please, use headphones if there is sound so you don’t give yourself away 😉. Bring a flashlight or headlamp if you will be with us after dark. (all this being said, members will likely share bug spray, sunscreen, flashlights, if we have them, but bringing your own is the best way to make sure you have it) You can even nap while the dogs look for you, if you would like 😀. Remember, you could be sitting in one spot for a couple hours.
8 ) A team member will “place” you in your hiding spot. We will need you to stay in that spot unless told otherwise. You will be loaned a radio so that you can communicate with the team at all times.
9) Keep in mind that we don’t always have access to brick-and-mortar bathrooms. Usually, your toilet will be behind a tree or bush.
10) You can follow some of the dogs, to watch them work, if you would like after hiding. And we would be happy to teach you about Search and Rescue, if you are interested.
11) While I did post this for community service time for students, anyone is welcome to hide 🙂.
12) Be prepared for dog kisses, and some of the dogs may be so excited to see you that they bump you or jump on you. But they are all friendly 🙂
13) Parents are WELCOME to stay and get to know us and see what their kids are doing. I know, it’s a little weird to drop your child off with a group of strangers in the woods. Stay and learn and ask us lots of questions! 🙂

If you have questions, feel free to ask! Thanks, again!

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