Search and Rescue Academy

2023 SAR Academy Course

The Benton County Search and Rescue (SAR) Certification Course is only offered once per year.  This course is an opportunity to learn many new skills and become certified to be deployed on missions, if you join one of our volunteer units.  Current and in-process Benton County SAR members will have first priority for limited seating.

Schedule:  The 8 week course is held on Thursday nights 6:00-9:00pm and Saturdays 8:30am – 3:00pm, beginning the first Thursday of March.  The tentative 2023 schedule can be found here.

Attendance:  It is mandatory to attend all field exercises and must have 95% or higher attendance in order to graduate.  If you have a certificate that you are skilled in a particular topic, you may be excused if unable to attend that class. Please contact jade.chambers@co.benton.or.us.  

Minors:  The academy is geared toward adults, but open to all persons age 16 and older. Individuals under 18-years-of-age must have a signed consent from a parent or legal guardian and must be accompanied by the parent or legal guardian during the course. In addition to all other registration materials, complete and sign the SAR Academy Minor Participation Authorization Form.

Prerequisites: If accepted to the class, you will be required to complete two online courses for the Incident Command System ICS 100, 200, & 700, PRIOR to the start of the Academy.
CPR & First Aid is also required by the start of class. An optional course will be offered February 25 for those needing certification and is expected to cost $20 (cost of the card).

Fee:  A $125.00 fee covers the cost of books and course materials.

To Register:  Contact Special Services Program Specialist Jade Chambers to see if there are any seats available or if you have any questions:  email jade.chambers@co.benton.or.us.

The following curriculum will be covered during the SAR Course and other topics may be added.

  • Benton County SAR Plan
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Canine Resources
  • Clothing & Equipment
  • Communications
  • Crime Scene Investigations
  • Critical Incident Stress
  • Distress Alert Beacons
  • Emergency Responder Preparedness
  • Environmental Injuries
  • Equine Resources
  • Fire, Water and Shelter Building
  • Gear Fest
  • HAZMAT Awareness
  • Helicopter and Fixed Wing Operations
  • Introduction to SAR and ICS
  • Lost Subject Behavior
  • Oregon Revised Statue 404
  • Rescue Techniques
  • Search Leadership
  • Search Techniques
  • Man Tracking
  • Wilderness Navigation
  • Visual Searching Strategies