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2023 Academy Training Schedule

Search and Rescue is challenging, rewarding, and ever changing. We are a team of professional volunteers, and the team is what we all make it together. Successful candidates are those who take an active role in their learning and training.

Our academy runs late February through early April. The academy consists of:

- A pre-academy field exercise with candidate interviews and training demonstrations.

- Seven Wednesday evening classroom sessions

- Three Saturday field training exercises

- The academy final.

Wednesday evening sessions are in Redwood City from 6:30PM to 9:30PM. 

Locations for the pre-academy, field training sessions, and academy final will be announced prior to each training. These trainings take place at various county or state parks throughout San Mateo County. The pre-academy and Saturday field trainings are "all day," times vary slightly depending on the training. The academy final includes a mock search on Saturday, followed by an overnight, finishing Sunday late morning.

Academy graduates are considered senior trainees and are field ready. Graduates are eligible to respond to in-county searches and events. During this time trainees complete a number of post-academy sign-offs, demonstrating their training in the field. Graduates will be monitored for participation level and continued education before submitting for background check and becoming fully sworn members.

Planned 2023 Academy dates, subject to change

Pre Academy

Sat, Feb 4

8AM - 5PM

Candidate Interviews
Field Training Demonstrations
- Map Navigation
- Patient Assessment
- Technical Rescue & Rappel
- Working with K9s
- Lost Person Behavior
Week 1

Wed Feb 22

Academy Overview
- Shirts & Textbook (unit provided)
- Pack List
- Uniform Policy
- Searcher Stress
Week 2

Wed, Mar 1

Types of Search and Rescue
K9s and Demo

Week 3

Wed, Mar 8


- Map

- Compass


- SARTopo

Field Training 

Sat, Mar 11

9AM - 5PM

Fitness Hike
Navigation Exercise

Week 4

Wed, Mar 15

Incident Command System

Search Management

Search Techniques

Week 5

Wed, Mar 22

Working with Patrol
- Intro to Sheriff's Office and Law Enforcement
- Communicating with the Public
- Communicating with Deputies
- Handling a Citizen Contact
- Approaching a Scene
- Patrol Radio Usage and Police Codes
- Storm Watch
Field Training

Sat, Mar 25


Technical Rescue Training
Medical Gear Training
- Litter, Wheel
- Rescue 2 (vehicle) and Gear
Medical and Technical Rescue Exercise
Week 6Wed Mar 29
Scene Safety

Field Training

Sat, Apr 1


Basic First Aid
O2 Administration
 Week 7 Wed Apr 5Traffic Control
Callout Procedures
Final Field Exercise

Sat 8AM - Sun 12PM

Apr 15 & 16

- Mock Search
- Shelter Building
- Unexpected Night Out
- Breakfast
- Fatigue Assessment & Debrief