SARWorld – Another Phoenix rising from the ashes?
David Housley from Midshires Search and Rescue has written a piece on outdoor skills and search and rescue, exploring the use of tracking and “natural navigation” within lowland search teams. Well worth a read, and feel free to join in the debate and comment on the SARWorld Search and Rescue Forum too…
However, his article got me thinking about two totally separate issues.
The first is about paid professional trainers. How come within ALSAR there is a natural acceptance that people with skills such as tracking and other outdoor skills should be paid to come and do training for teams? There are a number of companies that run training courses (albeit at cheap rates) specifically for search and rescue teams. But we do not like people charging for “search” training in the same way. Obviously I first noticed this at UKLSI – which never had paid employees, but people would always moan at the cost of the course – despite the amazing amount of additional knowledge the instructors had about search.
Why shouldn’t we “reward” those people who take the time and effort – outside and additional to the usual effort of SAR training – to learn these vastly greater knowledge and skill sets when they teach others, in the same way we do for trackers etc.?
One argument that people might use is that they can get “search” training from others for free/cheap. For those that think this I have one counter-argument; do you really think all “search” training is of the same standard and the instructors are of the same quality? I have seen lots of searchers and search instructors in my time and I can guarantee you that whilst there are some excellent instructors with both good search knowledge and teaching skills, there are a great deal more who should not be teaching search because they lack the necessary level of knowledge to do so!
By not creating a “marketplace” where quality and value matters, are we downgrading the importance of “search” training?
My second thought is about the SARWorld website; it is still ticking away in the background which is great but should I put in some more effort to spark it off again? I know I do not have the necessary people skills to round up and keep a group of “authors” going to keep the website running regularly – but this is what it needs. But I think SARWorld – both the idea and the website would be great.
Anyone want to help?