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Messages - Michelle

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New Member Introductions / Re: Hello Lyle
« on: October 25, 2011, 09:07:00 PM »
My watch must have been playing up.

It is great to see that through this forum, 3 people have already made contact with their local search teams

The world of SAR is great. You meet like minded people, venture off the beaten track and there is always someone to answer any related questions. There is so much variety in what you learn, how you can get involved, and how much time you can give.

New Techniques & Learning / Teaching Methods
« on: October 25, 2011, 08:57:43 PM »
I once had a job teaching taster activity sessions to complete novices. One such subject was orienteering. The typical age group was 5-8 years. I thought I'd share one of the very basic methods I used for this age group and would be interested to hear how others have found simple ways to share knowledge.

Before venturing into the outdoors, we started with a short classroom session (5 years olds have little more than a 10 minute concentration span).

Step 1 - Armed with a huge sheet of paper and a selection of marker pens, I would draw the outline of the room then invite each of the group to draw an item seen in the room onto the plan. For the slightly older, we would introduce symbols and the legend. Typical items would be a fire extinguisher, chair or table. When everyone had added an item we'd move on to step 2

Step 2 - Place the newly drawn plan on the floor (I had an open barn), correctly orientated. I would then point to an item and ask the group to go stand next to it. This would have a high success rate. Next, rotate the page and repeat. Some would follow others, a couple would be right, most wouldn't. Very quickly the youngsters would understand the importance of orientating the map.

Step 3 - Go outside and watch them get lost  :) I recommend setting clear boundaries at this point.

Regional SAR teams / Re: Navigation Training for Lowland SAR Teams
« on: October 25, 2011, 08:43:40 PM »
My understanding is that, as a minimum, search technicians should train to the NNAS bronze syllabus. There is no requirement to formally receive the NNAS qualification although if the instructors are available, it makes sense to reward the team as they will be meeting the requirements anyway. The general view was that a syllabus exists and with everything else going on, there is a navigation syllabus we can follow without re-inventing the wheel. Teams can opt to train to a higher standard but when working together, these guidelines will reassure us of the standards of other units assisting.

Lyle has offered free advanced Nav training to ALSAR which will be co-ordinated through the training officer. I believe there is a maximum of 12 per course so with Lyle's commitment and early demand (there are about 900 members of ALSAR), we will put forward our more advanced navigators for this training whilst working with the rest of the team to reach the NNAS Bronze/silver standards. Once they have the basics, we'll then nominate them for the advanced training.

Regional SAR teams / Re: urban search team
« on: October 14, 2011, 01:09:26 PM »
In the UK, there is generally mountain rescue or lowland rescue.

If you live in the hillier areas, eg lake district or dartmoor then your local team is most likely to belong to Mountain Rescue

If like me, you live in the flatter parts of the country then your local team is probably a member of the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR)

Being part of such a team is great, you get out in the great outdoors with a purpose and often venture away from the normal routes, seeing parts of the country you otherwise wouldn't.

To be an operational member you will need a basic level of fitness. Other training will be provided by your team.

If you are not sure about the physical element, don't let this put you off. There are many other ways to get involved.

New Member Introductions / Hello Lyle
« on: October 05, 2011, 11:25:56 PM »

I loved your presentation at the ALSAR conference, it was interesting and informative and presented with such enthusiasm. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from others in attendance and look forward to attending training some time in the near future.

I also enjoyed our conversations over a drink, even if you did abandon me at 1:00am  ;)

Retiring now with a good book (i hope)

Regional SAR teams / Re: urban search team
« on: October 05, 2011, 07:25:09 AM »

That is great news, I hope you pursue the idea. As Brian says, it involves a lot of committment. You will need a strong team behind to help with all kinds of issues including fundraising, recruitment and the writing of your rules, constitution, policies and procedures. Don't let this put you off, existing teams will be happy to help.

Where are you based? It may be an area that is not covered and so by setting up a team you will be helping to save lives. Alternatively, there may be an existing team in your area who would really benefit from such a motivated member.

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