Search and Rescue offers outdoor survival classes for students |

Search and Rescue offers outdoor survival classes for students

Members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team recently provided a lesson in outdoor survival to third grade students grade classes at Scarcelli Elementary School in Gardnerville. Sixty-seven students participated in the presentations.

Search and Rescue members Merrilyn Noble, Liz Garcia, Joan Neuffer, Joyce Richardson and Bob Voss taught students how to avoid becoming lost or separated from others while hiking or camping in the wilderness.

Students learned how to do this through the acronym STOP:

– Stay put. Take a moment to calm yourself. Staying put is often the best choice.

– Think. Think what you can do to be more easily located and found; think also of how you will obtain food, water and shelter.

– Observe. Look around. What resources are available for your use?

– Plan. Develop a plan for survival and rescue.

Survival techniques taught to the kids included:

– Making themselves more visible by waving a bright piece of clothing or other material to attract the attention of rescuers, or tying smaller pieces of bright-colored clothing or material to branches of nearby trees for easy observation.

– Making a large X on the ground with branches or stones that can be seen from the air.

– Seeking temporary refuge that provides shelter but doesn’t conceal your presence from rescuers.

Students also learned how to properly equip and prepare themselves for outdoor survival before they head out on any hike or camping trip, including bringing such things as water and light snacks, a whistle, a small flashlight, and a folded plastic garbage bag, kept in a pocket, that can be used as temporary protection from the elements in an emergency.

Douglas County Search and Rescue volunteers are available to present their STOP program to school-age children throughout Douglas County as a free public service to help educate children on lessening their chance of becoming lost in the wilderness, and what to do to help search teams find them if they should become lost.

Those interested in the training should contact STOP coordinator Merrilyn Noble at (775) 782-9930.

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