Search and Rescue Training Program
About Search and Rescue Training
Search and rescue professionals offer vital assistance in the response following a disaster. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Search and Rescue Training Program responds to requests across the state as specialists in K-9 search, rescue and recovery training programs. Recent additions to the section include Misty, an accelerant-detection K-9 utilized to assist the State Fire Marshal fire investigators at fire scenes.
A key component to the program is the Indiana Sheriff's Association Youth Ranch, located in Brazil, Indiana. The ranch announced the partnership with IDHS to sheriffs from across Indiana in 2019. The location offers an on-site kennel for cadaver dogs as well as a large lake for water training (view the map). Additionally, youth from all 92 counties across Indiana — future deputies, troopers and police officers, as well as at-risk kids and young witnesses and victims of crime — will discover the Indiana Sheriff's Association Youth Ranch offers life lessons about respect, animals, nature, character and health.
About the Program Manager, K-9s
Lillian Hardy manages the Search and Rescue Program, and she is also the handler for an accelerant-detection K-9 and cadaver-detection dogs that work statewide on fire scenes for the IDHS Fire Investigations Section and give demonstrations to schools and civic organizations.
Learn more about the IDHS Search and Rescue Training Center's programs below. To register for courses, you must first have a PSID number (K-9s must also have a PSID number). Register for a PSID using the online application. Then, using your PSID and password, log in to the Acadis Portal and browse for IDHS courses. Some prerequisites are offered through FEMA's training website.
- K-9 Search and Rescue Training Program
The K-9 Search and Rescue Training Program consists of structured classes of varying levels and disciplines from basic foundation training to advanced skills. The program also offers workshops, individual instruction and opportunities for search organizations to utilize training areas at the center.
- Ground Search and Search Management Training Program
The Ground Search and Search Management program consists of structured classes of varying levels from basic foundation training to advanced skills. The program also offers workshops, individual instruction and opportunities for response agencies, search organizations and individuals to learn about Ground Search Techniques and Search Management. This not only teaches the trainees skills needed to properly search for missing persons, but it gives agencies an opportunity to work together and understand each other's roles during an incident. These courses are the foundation to any well-rounded search and rescue training program.
- Technical Rescue Training Program
The Technical Rescue Training program consists of structured classes designed to train emergency response personnel to safely, efficiently and effectively perform rescues in the event of an emergency. The Search and Rescue Training Center offers several training areas for confined space, vehicle extrication, technical rope rescue and disaster operations.
- All Course Descriptions
- K-9 Search and Rescue Courses
- Ground Search and Search Management Courses
- Online Application for Public Safety Identification (PSID)
- Acadis Portal
- Data Collection Form
- American Kennel Club
- FEMA: Emergency Management Institute
- FEMA: Urban Search and Rescue
- Indiana Search and Rescue Association (INSARA)
- Jackson County (Indiana) Emergency Management Agency
- Kentucky Emergency Management Search and Rescue Program
- Mounted Search and Rescue
- National Association for Search and Rescue
- North American Police Work Dog Association
- Ohio Valley Search and Rescue
- San Bernardino County Sheriff's Mountain SAR
- United Kennel Club
- "Cadaver Dog Handbook" by Andrew Rebmann
- "Fundamentals of Search and Rescue" by NASAR
- "Lost Person Behavior" by Robert Koester
- "Ready! The Training of a Search and Rescue Dog" by Susan Bulanda
- "Training the Disaster Search Dog" by Shirley Hammond