response areas include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New
York. However, we have responded to request in other areas. The members
of PSARDA live throughout the response area.
on PSARDA are Sartech III or Sartech II with The National Association
of Search & Rescue, The members train together twice a month and
must become qualified in search methods, land navigation, survival,
radio communications, first aid, CPR and dog handling. The dogs must
become qualified in obedience and search methods.
and Rescue assignments are received through the various parks police,
local or state police, fire agencies and county emergency services.
We do not accept police assignments that might endanger the dog or
is provided by public contributions for unit equipment. Members pay
for personal expenditures. Member expenses may be tax deductible as
charitable contributions within IRS limits. Training and search expenses
are not reimbursed.
considerable time in training and on actual searches, therefore you
should expect to take time from work and be prepared for out of pocket
expenses. These expenses may be as much as $2,500.00 a year for mileage
and personal equipment. Therefore, a SERIOUS LEVEL OF COMMITMENT IS
NECESSARY. All responses to searches are voluntary and participation
is done according to your availability.
and each dog is unique. Not everyone can make the major time commitment
or will enjoy the rigors of search and rescue training. Sometimes
the person is a good candidate, but the dog isn't or vice versa.
are few restrictions as to acceptability. The dog must be friendly,
have the drive for the work and be fit and healthy for long hours
of outdoor activity. The same requirements also apply to becoming
a dog handler or support personnel for PSARDA.
SAR dogs come from the sporting, herding, and working class breeds.
Among our ranks we have, or previously had, Border Collie, Beaucerons,
Rottweiler, German Sheperd, Labrador, Australian Shepherd, Golden
Retriever and mixed breed. The dogs are family pets with a part time
are advantages and limitations in starting with an older dog as well
as starting with a puppy. Puppies can start some training at 3-4 months,
but must be at least 1 year old for operational status. It may take
a dog 8 to 10 months or longer to master the required skills. Acquiring
handler skills may take a minimum of 10-12 months. We do have time
limitations on training for each level, so only the most serious should
consider this major commitment. You will need to train your dog nearly
need to arrange your own training in some degree of emergency care.
First Aid and CPR are required.