Who we are and what we do.
SR3 NJ is a full Service Search and Rescue Team with several specialty units. When your agency calls us for help we show up ready to support you on your search. From the minute that call drops our IMU stands ready to plan the search, and once the find is made, we are ready to coordinate resources from our team and from other agencies to get the missing person out of danger and to the next level of care if that is what is needed.
We have the training and access to the resources to coordinate the search, make the find, stabilize the patient, and then get that patient out of the woods, while making sure you have the final say in your search. Our team is here to be a resource for you, and to work with your local responders under one Command Structure.
Q- What training is required to join SR3NJ?
A- There is no training required to join us, only some spare time, reasonable physical ability, and a true desire to help people.
Q- What training do I need before going on a search?
A- Before you can go on a search you must complete some basic ICS training, CPR and Wilderness First Aid, and a basic Search and Rescue Recruit Academy, we provide most of that to you at nominal cost. There is also a background check, and a few other minor things.
Q- Do I need to buy any special equipment before joining?
A- NO! Please do not go and spend a great deal of money on gear. All you will need to start out is a decent pair of hiking boots, a set of proper outdoor clothing, and a small day pack. As you advance in your training you can see what other people have and what people like and do not like and you can add to your gear collection.
Q- I am interested in being a dog handler, should I buy a dog first.
A- ABSOLUTELY NOT! Really, we can’t say this strongly enough. Many of the characteristics that make a great pet do not make a good SAR dog, and you will want to know what you are doing before teaching it to your dog. Find out if K9 SAR is even something you have the time for, learn the basics, and then make an educated decision about what the right dog is. Some people will never be star football players, and some dogs will never be good SAR dogs.
Q- Why are SAR dogs so important?
A- SAR dogs are one of many very important resources, they are tools to find the missing person. Some use a scent article to follow the missing person from where he or she may have been, others search the air currents for the presence of a person, and search an area. Such dogs can do the work of up to 50 humans, and can smell people many hundreds of feet away, if the wind is blowing right of course. Just like humans can fail to see something, dogs can fail to smell something so nothing is perfect and incapable of error but they do help us to find what is further away and what can’t be seen, such as at night.
Q- My job will not let me leave, and requires me to be there unless I arrange time off, can I still be on a Search and Rescue Team?
A- Well, maybe, but not on SR3NJ. Since we rarely know when there will be a search, our members need to be able to leave regularly for searches when they happen, the life of a missing person is on the line. Nobody makes all searches, but we do expect frequent and regular attendance on searches, and also on training. If you are able to explain this to your employer, that is good, if you need a letter, or some other official notification for them to know you are not making it up, we certainly can provide that.
Q- So, My job really will not let me go, even considering the above, but I still really want to help, is there anything that I can do?
A- SURE! Our K9 unit is always in need of people to serve as hiders, either one time only, or, as a member of our off team hider corps. You can sign up to be a hider, and the only thing we ask is that you come out, when you can and spend 4 to 7 hours or so in the woods, hidden for a dog. You can relax, read, listen to an audio book, and all you need to do is stay put, do your best to stay awake, and follow some very basic handler instructions. You would not be a member of the team, but would be a VERY valuable helper and would never need to go on a search. Other ways you can help is by telling your friends about us, liking and following our facebook page, and even helping us out with fundraisers.