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Indiana Department of Homeland Security

IDHS > About IDHS > Training & Exercise > Training Branch > Search and Rescue Training Program > All Course Descriptions All Course Descriptions

Search and Rescue / K-9 Training
2006-2007 Course Descriptions
Effective October 1, 2006

Many of our courses are designed to be taken in sequence, so that each level builds on the next.  Please give attention to any course prerequisites listed.  Any variance from the listed prerequisites must be approved by the IDHS Director of Training or designee.

Online Application for Public Safety Identification (PSID)

Course Prefixes
K9xxx indicates courses designed for canine handlers and their canines or those interested in how canines are trained and work (Note: dog not required for course, observers welcome)
SARxxx indicates ground search and search management courses

Course numbers designate the level of training:
100 courses are workshops and foundation training
200 courses are Basic level courses
300 courses are Intermediate level courses
400 courses are Advanced level courses
500 courses are Specialty courses

K9100 -K-9 LEARNING THEORY: 5hrs
Max # Students 30, K-9 15
This one day class is for beginner to advanced handlers wanting to better understand how to train their canine partners. The course begins with an interactive lecture (translation: plan to participate!) on canine learning theory. Discover “how” your dog learns! Topics include stages of learning, reinforcement schedules, methods of learning and chaining behaviors. Some class time will be spent in the field putting the learning theories into practice.

K9101 -K-9 SKILLS DAY: 8hrs
Max # Students 20, K-9 15
This one day workshop is for beginner to advanced handlers wanting to focus on problem areas they are experiencing with their dog. Trainers will be available to assist with your training needs. The primary focus will be on foundation and alerting skills

K9102 -INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF K-9s: 2hrs
Max # Students 20, K9 0
This short class is designed to introduce emergency management directors, law enforcement officers, dive teams and others that may need to utilize K-9 search teams on what K-9s can and cannot do, how to utilize them, when to call them, etc.. If you are responsible for search and rescue or are considering becoming involved, this class is for you.

K9103 -OBEDIENCE AND AGILITY WORKSHOP: 8hrs
Max # Students 20, K-9 15
This is a one day class for those wanting to focus on problem areas they are experiencing with their dog in the areas of obedience and agility and also a great way to introduce dogs and handlers to new techniques and equipment.
 
K9104 -K9 MOTIVATION AND HELPER SKILLS: 8hrs
Max # Students 20, K-9 10
This one day course focuses on training the dog to work in a higher drive. This course also offers a chance for the student to learn how to assist the handler in training the dog through proper play and timing skills.

K9105- K9 First Aid: 8hrs
Max # students 20, K-9 10
This one day courses focuses on teaching the student basic k9 first aid principals. K9 assessment, what is normal. Bandaging, splinting and other skills needed to render assistance to a k9 in an emergency. This course is recommended for anyone involved with working with or around k9s.

K9200 -BASIC AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 8hrs
Max # Students 20, K-9 10
This one day class is designed to introduce K-9 teams with techniques used to locate live missing/lost persons.  The class is open to those wishing to train their canine to air-scent for live subjects. A combination of classroom lecture and field exercises will provide the student with information and techniques for, scent theory, developing a solid alert and drive building, training progression and much more.  This is a pre-requisite for all intermediate and advanced air scent courses.
PRE-REQUISITES:

  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    K9300 -INTERMEDIATE AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This two day course expands on what was learned in the basic level. The handler is taught how to develop a training plan and how to set up problems based on their training objectives.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9200 BASIC AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9 TEAMS.
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    K9400 -ADVANCED AIR SCENTING SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s:16hrs
    Max # Students20, K-9 10
    This two day class is designed to help experienced K-9 teams with tactics used during the search for missing/lost persons in the wilderness environment. The class is open to air-scent teams. There will also be exercises in land navigation and clue finding. Training is hands-on: scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9200 BASIC & K9300 INTERMEDIATE AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9 TEAMS.
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)

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    K9210 -BASIC LAND CADAVER SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 8hrs
    Max # Students 20, K9 10
    This is a one day class designed to introduce K9 teams to techniques used to locate human remains. Students will learn how to handle and store training aids, basic scent theory, and proper handling of training material. Field training will consist of imprinting the dog on the cadaver scent and developing a solid alert. This class is applicable to both search dog teams and law enforcement teams.  This is a pre-requisite for all intermediate and advanced cadaver courses.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    K9310 -INTERMEDIATE LAND CADAVER SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 8hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This two day Course expands on what was learned in the basic level. The handler is taught how to develop a training plan and how to set up problems based on their training objectives.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • K9210 BASIC LAND CADAVER COURSE
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    K9410 -ADVANCED LAND CADAVER SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This two day class will help experienced K-9 teams in techniques used to locate human remains. Land cadaver problems will cover vehicles, surface, buried, and hanging problems. Training will be hands-on with minimal classroom time. Scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID,
  • K9210 BASIC & K9310 INTERMEDIATE LAND CADAVER COURSES
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)

    K9220 -BASIC TRACKING/TRAILING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 8hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This one day class is for those teams wishing to start their dog in trailing and scent discrimination techniques. Field training will consist of how to get started, leash handling, and scent theory. This class is applicable to both search dog teams and law enforcement teams. Training will be hands-on with minimal classroom time. Scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
     
    K9420 -ADVANCED TRACKING/TRAILING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9S: 16HRS
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This two day class is for those teams with experience in trailing and scent discrimination techniques. Field training will consist of urban, rural, and wilderness trails (with single and multiple victims) “line-ups”, car trails, negative trails, nighttime exercises, and more. This class is applicable to both search dog teams and law enforcement teams. Training will be hands-on with minimal classroom time. Scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:
  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9220 BASIC TRACKING/TRAILING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)

    K9500 -WATER CADAVER SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This two day class is open to those teams that are land cadaver trained. This course will help those new to water search as well as those experienced in water cadaver search. Training will include; scent theory, search strategy, boat safety and hands-on training on the water. Scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level. Water cadaver problems will cover both shoreline and open water searches. (Your dog must have a solid alert on land in order to participate in water exercises)
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • K9210 BASIC LAND CADAVER COURSE
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • BASIC WATER SAFETY (Strongly Recommended)

    K9550 -BASIC BUILDING SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 8hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This one day class is designed to help new as well as experienced K-9 teams with tactics used during the search for missing/lost persons or human remains in buildings. Training is hands-on, scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9210 BASIC LAND CADAVER COURSE or K9200 BASIC AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9 TEAMS
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
     
    K9552 -ADVANCED BUILDING SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 10
    This 2-day class expands on what was learned in the Basic course. Emphases will be placed on search tactics, night searching and problem solving. Training is hands-on, scenarios and training exercises are set up based on the dog and handler’s experience level.
    PRE-REQUISITES:
  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9210 BASIC LAND CADAVER COURSE or K9200 BASIC AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9 TEAMS
  • K9550 BASIC BUILDING SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K9s
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)

    K9530-INTRODUCTION TO DISASTER SEARCH TECHNIQUES FOR K-9s: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20, K-9 15
    This two day class is designed to introduce K-9 search teams to the specialized field of disaster response. Students will train in the areas of agility, obedience, alert work, and drive building. Students will also have the opportunity to practice their skills on 3 rubble piles.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • OBEDIENCE & AGILITY (or equivalent)
  • K9200 BASIC AIR SCENTING TECHNIQUES FOR K-9 TEAMS
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • AWR-160 WMD AWARENESS (or equivalent)
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS

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    SAR100 -CRIME SCENE ORIENTATION- BLOOD BORNE PATHOGENS: 5hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This one day course is designed to give the student a working knowledge of crime scene procedures, protecting evidence and documentation, safety of the operator and canine in potential hazardous situations (Meth labs, hazmat environments, etc) Safety in working with and around blood borne pathogens is covered along with procedures for utilizing personal protective equipment. This course utilizes both lecture and practical sessions.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • AWR-160 WMD AWARENESS (or equivalent)
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS

    SAR101 – SEARCH AND RESCUE SKILLS DAY: 8hrs
    Max # Students 20
    This one day course is designed to give the students an opportunity to perfect their skills. Instructors will be available to assist with basic knots, search techniques, map and compass, and other areas where students wish to improve their skills.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
     
    SAR110 -HELICOPTER OPERATIONS: 8hrs
    Max # Students 30 K-9 15
    This one day class is designed to give the student the tools necessary to safely work with and around helicopters, establish a landing zone (LZ) in both urban and rural settings, establish ground air communications, and understand operational procedures and considerations when utilizing canines. This course consists of both lecture and field operations.
    PRE-REQUISITES:
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    SAR200 -GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES - Awareness: 16hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This two day course is designed to introduce the student to the specialized training required for ground search operations. The knowledge and skills topics covered in this awareness course include: Introduction to SAR, SAR management, map & compass, communications, search theory, lost person behavior, SAR resources, clue consciousness, ground search tactics, search operational process, and a table-top mock search exercise. This course is based on ASTM and NFPA standards for searching rural and wilderness environments. Note: This is a classroom-only course that ALL personnel involved in SAR should attend. This course is based off of ASTM and NFPA standards for searching rural and wilderness environment.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    SAR300 -GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES -Operations: 16hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This two day course is designed to expand upon the awareness level course and provides hands-on training for field personnel to effectively participate in ground search operations as a crew member. The knowledge and skills topics covered in this operations course include: SAR management at the crew member level, survival, improvement, self-sufficiency, outdoor environmental hazards, outdoor clothing, personal equipment SAR, backcountry travel skills, land navigation, ground crew search techniques & tactics, tracking lost/missing persons, handling evidence & crime-scene protection, basic knots for SAR, non-technical litter evacuation, helicopter operations, and an outdoor mock search exercise. This course is based on ASTM and NFPA standards for searching rural and wilderness environments. Note: Since several field exercises are included in this course the student must come equipped for any weather and be prepared for physical exertion in the field.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • SAR200 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Awareness
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)
  • AWR-160 WMD AWARENESS (or equivalent)
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS


    SAR400 -GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES -Technician: 16hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This two day course expands upon the operations course and is designed for the ground search crew leader. The knowledge and skills topics covered in this technician course include: SAR management at the crew leader level, leadership for crew, strike, & task force leader, crew safety & crew leader equipment, stress management, advanced land navigation, nighttime land navigation & field exercises, ground crew search tactics leadership & management, air-ground coordination, negotiating hazardous terrain, and an outdoor mock search exercise as a crew-leader. This course is based on ASTM and NFPA standards for searching rural and wilderness environments. Note: Since several field exercises are included in this course the student must come equipped for any weather and be prepared for physical exertion in the field.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • SAR200 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Awareness
  • SAR300 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Operations
  • SAR110 HELICOPTER OPERATIONS
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)
  • ICS 300 (Intermediate Incident Command)
  • IS 800 (Introduction to the National Response Plan)
  • AWR-160 WMD AWARENESS (or equivalent)
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS OPERATIONS

    SAR250 -SEARCH AND RESCUE MANAGEMENT – Awareness: 16hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This two-day course is designed to introduce the student to the specialized training required for management of search and rescue operations. The knowledge and skills topics covered in this awareness course include: introduction to search management, leadership of the management staff, common search management mistakes, operational preplanning, introduction to search theory, initial response to a SAR incident, managing the first operational period, introduction to search planning, introduction to search operations, transition into the second operational period, and a table-top mock search exercise.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • SAR200 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Awareness
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)
  • ICS 200 (Basic Incident Command)
  • AWR-160 WMD AWARENESS (or equivalent)
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS


    SAR500 -TRACKING & SIGNCUTTING: 16hrs
    Max # Students 20
    This two day class will introduce the student to the art of finding, identifying, and following the evidence of a person’s presence and their direction of travel. Tracking provides the search and rescue responder with invaluable information that may otherwise go unseen. Tracks and clues are numerous but being able to locate them takes the proper training. This course will help the student to become “track aware” by introducing equipment needed and how it is used, responsibilities of tracking teams, fundamental principals of tracking, the effects of the environment on tracks, and identifying various tracks and clues through both classroom and field exercises.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • SAR200 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Awareness
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    SAR510 -HELICOPTER OPERATIONS -Tactical: 8hrs
    Max # Students 30
    This one day class is designed to give a detailed overview of helicopter operations, safety and landing zone (LZ) procedures in day to day tactical situations. The student will be able to select and safely establish a helicopter landing zone (LZ) in both urban and rural settings and establish communications. Special attention and focus will be given to the needs of Law Enforcement. This course consists of both lecture and field operations.
    RESTRICTIONS: This course is restricted to law enforcement agencies and will only be conducted on an as needed basis, with the approval of the IDHS Director of Training.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    SAR520 –Land Navigation (operations): 16hrs
    Max # Students 20
    Students will review basic map skills before moving on to practice intermediate and advanced techniques.  Map and Compass are used together in challenging Land Navigation field exercises.  At the end of this course, students will be able to safely and accurately navigate using a variety of maps and systems.  This course is designed for SAR crews, Police, Wildfire Personnel, Wilderness EMT's, Naturalists, Storm Spotters and more.
    Topics include- -Accurate Compass Bearings, Determining line of travel, Bearings and back azimuths, Determining distances on the map and on the ground, Reading topographical maps, Identifying common land features, Plotting location with UTM coordinates, GPS Please be prepared to stay late course includes Day and Night exercises.
    PRE-REQUISITES:

  • CPR & FIRST AID
  • SAR200 GROUND SEARCH TECHNIQUES-Awareness (will accept, ST Vincent Wilderness medical course)
  • ICS 100 (Introduction to Incident Command)
  • IS 700 (Introduction to NIMS)

    Please Note: Non K-9 handlers may attend K-9 courses as an observer.
    For more information, please contact:
    Lillian Hardy, Training Manager
    Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Training Division
    Mari Hulman George Search and Rescue Training Center
    Office: 812-526-0013   Fax: 812-526-0038
    Email: lhardy@dhs.IN.gov

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