Scouts Team Up With Man’s Best Friend for Search-and-Rescue Training

Scouts helped search-and-rescue teams prepare for emergencies in Mobile, Ala. (Photo credit: Fox10 News)
Scouts helped search-and-rescue teams prepare for emergencies in Mobile, Ala. (Photo credit: Fox10 News)

Boy Scouts weren’t the only ones learning lessons in helpfulness at the Brookley Complex in Mobile, Ala. this January.

Scouts from a Mobile Area Council troop joined airport authorities to assist in a special training session for search-and-rescue (SAR) teams. These unique teams weren’t limited to humans, though—they were joined by their canine counterparts!

Because of their sharp senses, dogs are ideal candidates to help search-and-rescue teams in a variety of situations. This particular training scenario was based on a weather event the area could potentially experience.

Training volunteers hid in designated areas around the airport complex so the dogs could practice locating potential disaster victims. Team Commander Carlos Redmon set the scene for the rescue roll play to make training as realistic as possible.

The fictional training scenario was, “Scouts were out here doing some clean-up stuff, and a bad storm came through, leveled some of the buildings. We had people that sheltered in place, and we’ve been called in by the airport authority to locate and bring all these people back to safety,” Redmon explained to to Fox10 News.

The SAR teams were tasked with finding 14 Scouts and four adults within the complex. To make the training more authentic, variables like hypothetical injuries were added to the challenge.  Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.05.36 AM

Both groups were able to take something from the session. The SAR team leaders were able to learn from field observation, and the Scout volunteers got to experience a new side of volunteer work. But this out-of-the-norm service opportunity wasn’t just educational; the Scouts also had fun participating.

Scout Jessie B. didn’t have to wait long for the four-legged rescuers to sniff him out. “It took about 10 to 15 minutes. This is something new, and it’s really cool, because we’ve never done this before, and it’s kind of fun to work with the dogs,” he shared with Fox10.

By participating in this training session, the boys not only got to serve the community, they also got to share some Scouting wisdom with their new furry friends by helping them prepare for emergencies.

Disaster preparedness is a life-saving skill and the Boy Scouts of America even awards a search-and-rescue merit badge to Scouts who demonstrate thorough SAR knowledge.

To learn more about the Scouts’ animal adventure in SAR training, read the full article by Fox10 News.


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Rochelle Randles is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She enjoys sharing incredible adventure stories within the Scouting community and beyond. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at