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OAKLAND, Ore. — Last week, both aspiring and veteran Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 teams descended on Douglas County for training and state certifications.
About 65 teams from sixteen counties and three states across the Pacific Northwest participated in the session. Among them was a team from Jackson County's SAR squad.
SAR K9 teams have a singular mission—to help law enforcement and rescue crews in finding lost or missing people. The training is intended to prepare them for those situations, which can be a matter of life or death.
The training took place over three days—Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29—at Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park in Oakland, Oregon. Volunteers from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office led the sessions.
"Many times these teams never get the opportunity to work together until they are called to a large scale search," said Douglas County Sheriff's Office Emergency Manager Wayne Stinson. "It was determined it is best to have some degree of each team's strengths and weaknesses prior to an actual search environment."
This particular training session focused on night searches, air scent, trailing, locating the scent of human remains, and networking.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of problems designed to challenge both ends of the lead," said Jackson County K9 team leader Eric Ronemus.
Five K9 teams received their official state certification at the event.