Tag Archives: SRT

BUSAR April Trainathon..


The only thing better than getting the greatest picture of Ski being rescued by the Jernigator is looking back at April’s training and realizing that the BUSAR beast is unstoppable. With over 440 hours of training logged by the team, and without a budget, I am both amazed and humbled to be surrounded by such talent and dedication.

K9 SRT Day: The month started off by working with the canines of the Tennessee Special Response Team led by Art Wolf. This group of highly skilled and dedicated canine handlers train every week. http://www.tnsrta.org/ We worked an 18 hour old track and trail, a couple live find area searches, and some human remains searches. I have seen some janky dog teams on real world searches in the past, but all the TN SRT dogs are certified through NASAR in multiple discipline and then get put through the ringer by Art. Hats off to a great team and many thanks for allowing us to tag along. We look forward to working with them in the future.

BTRT-E: In mid-April, five of us rolled up to New River Gorge and were students (and one instructor) in the five day NPS Basic High Angle Rescue Training – East. It was the best in-house training I have experienced during my 16 years in the park service and the credit goes to Kevin Moses and his fine cadre. Lots of great material, scenarios, and great cliffs.

Virginia SAR Conference – Later in April, five of us headed to the mecca of SAR, also called the Virginia SAR Conference. I was scheduled to teach a 2 day Wilderness Survival for Search & Rescue Personnel class and my class was blessed with a decent night time temp of 29 degrees. This four day event allows two days of intensive pre-classes, followed by two days of mini-classes. This was part of the offering for Saturday. The 0600 and 1700 PT sessions were lead by the BUSAR boys.. IMG_1460

Lots of good classes, new friends, learning opportunities, and networking. We are all looking forward to next year.

With two PT sessions a day and classes in between, even the Green Ninja got tuckered out!!

Smokies Tech Team day – Fresh off BTRT-E, we got the invite to train with the Smokies Technical Rescue Team. Halfway through, we got a call for a semi-technical rescue and got to put some rope action into play. Training, real rescue, and then then weekly workout..BUSAR Trifecta complete!


Smokies Litter Team day – April finished off with five cobras rolling up to spend half a day on litter team training. No pics from that, but here are a couple from a Rainbow Falls rescue where one of our members was on the ground team when another dropped through the canopy to hoist the patient out. Good work Greg and John!! Video link to hoist: https://www.facebook.com/john.hicks.1420/videos/1180982995245133/




Catch me if you can…


And they did… It was the final exercise, and I thought I was home free. During a simulated manhunt, myself and three other instructors set out from the vehicles on a 3500 acre property in the heart of Kentucky. A couple hours later, they had caught two of my gang. Rob Spieden, http://www.trackingschool.com,  and I were the last two. We had stuck together up until this point, but with the teams now focused on picking up where we had given them the slip, we planned on splitting up and I would slip back behind them and check the security on the command center.

I wished Rob good luck, and slipped through the the tall weeds to the edge of a clearing. I glassed the field edges looking for any security teams and felt at ease watching a flock of turkeys enter the woods where I was heading. Trying to stay out of the briars, I was five steps into cutting the corner of the field when I was challenged by five M4 wielding SWAT members in full predator mode.

Like any good prey, I ran like hell. I was sure that with my headstart and the downhill slope I was going to leave them in the dust, but little did I know that the SRT team had picked up my trail and I was sandwiched between them. My 300 hundred yard dash to freedom came to a end as I heard the footsteps crashing behind me. Give these meat-eaters an excuse to tackle you and they gladly will, so I did what any fugitive with half a brain would do and dove to the ground just in time to avoid getting crushed.

I had just spent the week helping Mike Hull,  owner/operator of VITALE LLC and an affiliate of the Scott-Donelan Tracking School, teach a Level II Tactical Tracking class to the Kentucky State Police SRT Team and the Frankfort PD SWAT team. Level II class picks up where the Level I leaves off, focusing on command and control, land navigation, rural surveillance, IED detection and coordinating multiple teams.

An outstanding class with a some of Kentucky’s finest. Check out Mike’s website to schedule training:  http://www.vitalellc.com/

On a side note, while on the run, I did eat some ground cherries, collect some dogbane for cordage, milkweed pods for seeding my area, a mulberry branch, horseweed stems, cedar bark (all for friction fire), some burdock seeds, and even spied some shaggy manes. All in a good day’s work of being a “fugitive”.



Brought to you by http://bigpigoutdoors.net/  – Your source for high quality instruction in practical bushcraft, wilderness survival, and outdoor living skills