"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."- Theodore Roosevelt

DACSAR volunteers train to master outdoor skills and the principles of search and rescue operations. If these skills and disciplines interest you, we would like you to be a part of our group. We work to provide qualified trackers & ground searchers for missions in south central New Mexico. Other training prepares us for various search, rescue, and recovery assignments.

Search Basics: The mission command staff is charged to make decisions on the search methods and locations. Our teams and members may be asked to participate in or lead hasty teams, tracking teams, sign cutting, or other searches.

Search Skills: In addition to our tracking training; our members train with map, compass, GPS, first aid, survival, lost person behavior and tendencies, search management, and the state SAR plan. Monthly team trainings are combined with mock missions & state SAR trainings to prepare us for the real missions.

Key Concept: Wherever a person walks, they leave sign.

Therefore, accurate tracking and sign cutting can be a critical tool in focusing a search and in locating lost or injured individuals. Tracking is more than seeing prints everyone else can see, it is seeing and following sign that most other people do not see.

Tracking & Sign Cutting: Our team emphasizes tracking skills for search and rescue operations. We practice the recognized "step by step" method for initial tracking instruction and practice. Tracking is a skill that requires practice and experience as track and sign change with terrain and weather; and there are vast varieties of each. Regular practice allows members to progress from initially being track aware, to being competent trackers, and on to team leadership and to sign cutting. We train regularly so that we are prepared & efficient for SAR missions - "That others may live."

Trackers work in teams to efficiently follow the line of appropriate sign and distinguish it from other sign. The team communicates with members and takes field notes to describe and forward information to base operations and to other teams.

Team member with tracking stick, identifying next track and direction of travel.