When: March 16-17 (8am-5pm), April 5 (6pm-10pm), April 6-7 (8am-5pm), April 19 (6pm-10pm) April 20-21 (overnight camp)
Where: Search & Rescue Facility, 250 Tech Way, Grants Pass, OR 97526
Cost: $30 per student
The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue (SAR) division is conducting their 12th “OSSA SAR Academy.” There is room for 60 students in this year’s academy. Classes begin March 16th and conclude on April 21st. The academy will be held at the Search & Rescue facility at 250 Tech Way in the North Valley Industrial Park. The curriculum will provide a thorough introduction to Search & Rescue and meets the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (OSSA) minimum training requirements.
The SAR academy will cover topics such as map and compass, global positioning systems (GPS), man-tracking, wilderness survival, radio communications, search techniques, cold-weather emergencies, helicopter safety, crime scene preservation and a variety of other subjects. This year’s schedule includes a land navigation “boot camp” and an overnight campout that will occur in April. The academy is open to all interested citizens and is offered at $30 per student. Students must be at least 16 years of age, with no maximum age; no prior experience is required.
Academy graduates wishing to be considered for active duty SAR membership may apply at the conclusion of the course. The application process includes a background check, a moderate physical fitness test, application approval from the Sheriff’s Office and a new member orientation meeting. For those accepted, there is a trial service period and additional required training.
Active duty SAR members also have the opportunity to receive training on a variety of snow craft, watercraft and several types of specialized off-road vehicles. In addition, there are specialty groups within Search & Rescue, such as the Rope Rescue, K-9 Rescue, Dive Rescue, Mounted SAR, Snow and ATV Rescue.
Search & Rescue is an all-volunteer unit, funded through community donations and grants. They are the primary Search & Rescue resource for the county and actively participate in a variety of rescues and large-scale emergencies, as well as numerous community events.
For more information or to register for the Search & Rescue Academy, contact Josephine County Search and Rescue at 541-474-5300 or email Deputy Krauss at