Firefighters in Douglas County, Mo. test their search and rescue skills during missing person training

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 9:59 PM CST
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EASTERN DOUGLAS COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Firefighters from multiple agencies were all in Eastern Douglas County on Saturday training search and rescue skills.

The day started with everyone at the firehouse moving to the staging area. From there, teams and search grids were assigned. As the day went on, participants were given a description of a missing person along with clues that may help find him.

The people running the class say when you’re searching for a person, the number one priority is making sure everyone is on the same page and understands their job so the operation can run as smoothly as possible.

“If we’re not on the same page, it’s going to be mass chaos,” said Kathy Gifford with Eastern Douglas County Fire. “If we all know what’s expected of us, we work as a fine-tuned team and things go a lot smoother, and we can focus on the objective which is helping the victim.”

Alan Altis, an adjunct instructor at the University of Missouri Fire Rescue Training Institute ran the class, says when conducting these searches it’s better to have the mindset of not looking for the victim, but looking for the clues they leave behind.

“We’re not necessarily looking for the victim, as much as we’re looking for clues for the victim,” said Altis. “One of the things we say is that this is kind of a game of Clue in searching for evidence and items that the victim may have left, signs that they may have gone off trail, things that they may have left behind, and that sort of thing.

This is one of many training programs that they’ll be offering. If you’re interested in this training or want to volunteer click here.

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