K9SearchOK maintains a rigid training schedule with weekly exercises that cover all the disciplines of our searching strategy – trailing, area, live find, recovery, and scent discrimination live find. Our training officer schedules and plans each session in an effort to meet every forseeable search scenario – building, wilderness, buried, elevated, car search, etc.
Certifications are part of the requirements for our group, and those certifications are maintained by all members who respond to search missions. Together with quarterly meetings and in-house training seminars, we accumulate hundreds of hours honing our skillset toward the goal that we will be ready for any search where we are asked to serve.
If you are interested in training with our team, it is important to note that our team highly values accountability and unity. Our expectations are that you will make every effort to be available for the maximum amount of training that you possibly can. Understandably, life events can happen and prevent you from being at a particular event or training session, but we constantly strive to maintain a high team unity through consistent and regular training at our training locations across Oklahoma.
To train with us (and ultimately be able to respond to search missions), you need to be willing to:
- Invest in your own equipment, at your own expense
- Travel often, without fuel reimbursement
- Work hard, without pay
- Train long hours, without complaining
- Be an enjoyable and passionate team-player
We look forward to welcoming anyone to a training session who wants to learn more about our team, or about search and rescue in general. Some of the ways we facilitate the learning process is to ask you to ‘flank’ (basically, hike alongside) one of our canine handlers during a mock search, to hide and allow one of our canines or ground teams to find you, and to have you do some research on your own about the exciting “SAR Life.”
If you have any doubt about your ability to commit to a rigorous weekly training schedule, being able to drive across the state (possibly more than once or twice a month), or allowing yourself to be mentally and physically exhausted in order to prepare yourself for search missions – then we’d urge you to take an inward look at why you want to do SAR work. Quite simply, we don’t do it for money or fame, we do it “so others may live.” That’s the SAR motto.