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Ashland CERT hosts Jackson County search tactics course

“Have fun, get some training, and learn some new skills.”

That was the mission of a search tactics training session led by Jackson County Search and Rescue (JCSAR) personnel in conjunction with the city of Ashland Fire & Rescue’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Saturday, Jan. 23 in Lithia Park.

Thirty-four CERT volunteers were given the opportunity to practice for Search & Rescue operations under the guidance of seasoned JCSAR leaders.

“It’s a great opportunity to network, learn and practice for actual missions,” according to CERT Program Coordinator Terri Eubanks.

The goal was to learn how Search and Rescue operates, the logistics of organizing a search, spotting clues, understanding how to conduct various types of searches, including a grid searches, the importance of how to handle evidence, and more.

After an hour-long classroom and Power Point presentation at Ashland Fire Station No. 1, CERT volunteers headed to Lithia Park and divided into small teams.

After having been given a brief fictitious scenario of a missing person, CERT volunteers combed through a soggy and somewhat chilly Lithia Park for two hours in search of clues which had been planted earlier by JCSAR team leaders: a crumpled bandana under a bush, a necklace hanging in a tree, a package of Kleenex in the grass, and more.

Demonstrating teamwork, focus and dedication to the purpose at hand , as well as a commitment to serving our community, JCSAR team leader, Mark Mihaljevich, had high praise for the CERT volunteers.

“All of us at Jackson County SAR are grateful for and impressed by you and your group," Mihaljevich said. "The training could not have gone any better.”

For more information about CERT or becoming a volunteer, contact Eubanks at 541-552-2226 or visit www.ashlandcert.org.

Email Tidings Mocha Musings columnist Susanne Severeid at susannewebsite@olypen.com. Read her columns at bit.ly/adtssmm.