Search and Rescue

The Indiana Guard Reserve Search and Rescue Training Team (SAR) was formed in 2009 to enhance the IGR's Emergency Management mission role capabilities.  The SAR Team develops and oversees the formation and training of search teams within the IGR, comprised of ground searchers and search managers.

In 2011, the IGR SAR team was called upon to assist local agencies in a high-profile search for a missing person.  SAR mobilized and "spot trained" 20 ground searchers from across the IGR in less than a week.  The search team was tasked with conducting careful sweep searches through some of the roughest wilderness terrain in Indiana.  The local agencies involved appreciated the IGR SAR team's ability to search where others could not.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) has since tasked the Indiana Guard Reserve to develop three 12-man teams, for a total of 36 trained ground searchers to be deployed around the state. So far, 71 members have completed the IGR Basic Ground Search and Rescue (BGSAR) course. We know that if the alarm sounds, not everyone can respond, so more searchers are needed beyond the IDHS request.

Trained ground searchers are a great resource, but useless without proper leadership and management. For that reason, the SAR team has moved forward with offering FUNSAR (Fundamentals of Search and Rescue) for those that wish to be crew leaders. Once a member completes FUNSAR and if they wish to go further, they may challenge MLPI (Managing the Lost Person Incident) which would qualify them to be search managers.  In addition to BGSAR graduates, the SAR team has graduated 20 service members at the FUNSAR level, and 11 service members at the MPLI level.  Most of the SAR training team members are also instructors in NASAR (National Association for Search and Rescue).

As we move towards the stand-up of the three IGR Ground SAR Strike Teams for the IDHS and the United States Forest Service (USFS), additional IGR BGSAR, NASAR FUNSAR, and NASAR MLPI courses will be offered to the IGR.  As we continue to build the IGR SAR program, we plan to add additional NASAR courses and certifications as well as instructor workshops.

General Search and Rescue Courses

These courses are recommended for all search and rescue professionals regardless of specialty or search terrain.

Specialty Courses

These courses are recommended for those with specific interest or involvement in the specialty.

Educator Workshops

These workshops provide the framework necessary to become an official NASAR Instructor, Evaluator or Lead Evaluator.

General Certification Exams

These examinations are based on the standards developed by NASAR and recognized by many states and SAR organizations as minimum knowledge and skill requirements for all SAR professionals regardless of specialty or search terrain. For certification criteria and Ready Pack requirements, click on the word EDUCATION at the top of the NASAR home page.

A complete list of NASAR courses can be found at

Search and Rescue Training Team Command and Staff Personnel

Commander CPT Thomas C. Millen
Executive Officer 2LT John Summerlot
First Sergeant MSG Steve W. Martin
Trainer SGT John S. Chaille
Trainer SGT Larry E. Kennedy
Trainer SGT Bill Fenton