A meet and greet at 5 p.m. June 2 will kick off the next new-member training session of the Sequoyah County Mounted Search and Rescue Team.
Team Leader Mack Moad said the meet and greet will be held on Cherokee Nation land south of U.S. Highway 64 on Dwight Mission Road.
Moad said, “To get to the meeting take Interstate 40 to Dwight Mission Road, and turn south, driving directly into the property. The Mounted Search and Rescue flag will be located next to my horse trailer and easy to see.”
Those planning on taking the training should sign up at the table.
Moad said the first day is a meet and greet and prospective members will be able to visit with team members, and ask all the questions they would like while riding their mounts. The horses and equines brought to this event by candidates for the course must have a current Coggins test.
“In order to complete this course, we must have at least 10 folks and their horses, so bring your friend or friends and let’s get the word out,” Moad said. “Under 18? No worries, but you must be at least 16 years old and have your parent or legal guardian sign for you.”
This is a volunteer organizational team and does not cost anything, except for the Red Cross CPR course card which costs $5. Anyone who can’t pay for the card should speak to Moad about payment. Those who are already CPR Adult and Child certified, should show Moad their card to get credit for that part of the course.
Moad said, “If at least 10 candidates sign up, then at 8 a.m. on June 3 we will start with the Horse and Handler Obstacle Course located in Muldrow at the Big M Ranch. This is a sanctioned event supported by the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and Sequoyah County Emergency Management.”
This team, which has 14 members with 19 horses certified, has already participated in real world missions to find and save lives not only in Sequoyah County but surrounding counties as well, Moad said.
“Our mission is to deploy, search, find and rescue the lost or missing at any time, regardless of location, to save lives. This is a Mounted Search and Rescue Team requiring certified members to complete missions in deep wilderness environments,” Moad said. “You and your mount, once the course is completed, will be certified in several areas to include but not limited to land navigation, topographical map reading, terrain association, CPR Adult and Child, first aid, first responded, field expedient first aid, human tracking, radio communications, intro to Search and Rescue, Incident Command Operations, SAR operations, legal aspects of SAR, wilderness search and survival, pace counting, clue and site procedures, scene preservation, helicopter extraction operations, marking a landing zone, Emergency Management Operations, search formations and gridding, medivac operations, generating reports, MOCK ICS Operation, after action reviews, overnight bivouac - just to name a few. However, this whole course is done with your mount.”
Certified members also have the option to advance into the rappel operations of rescue.
Moad said teamwork is involved heavily, and the course is designed to be completed in seven working days. Some physical fitness is required.
Moad said, “Most if not all of your questions will be discussed at the meet and greet. Hopefully we will see you on June 2.”
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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