Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
State Search and Rescue Committee
In 2011, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) organized a committee of search and rescue professionals throughout the State to assist in the coordination and standardization for both Urban and Wilderness Search and Rescue (SAR) within Arkansas. The committee consists of State and Local representatives with a wide variety of Search and Rescue experience. The Deputy Director of ADEM serves as the Chair of the committee. The committee is divided into two SAR sub-committees: Urban Search and Rescue; and Wilderness Search and Rescue. The canine component for both areas is a priority and to ensure coordination between handlers and SAR, a State K9 Coordinator is also represented on the committee.
The committee meets on a monthly quarterly basis and strives to utilize expertise throughout the SAR community to establish a standardized, interoperable and coordinated approach to Search and Rescue in Arkansas; therefore, helping to ensure the safety of citizens throughout the state.
To ensure qualified and credible Canine SAR response, the committee has established minimum requirements for both the Handler and the canine. To the extent possible, the committee strives to use existing standards set forth by multiple nationally recognized certification programs. The requirements set forth in this document reflect such standards.
As required by the State Search and Rescue Committee, for a Handler and Canine to be represented on the State K9 Resource Call Out list, they must meet, at a minimum, the requirements outlined in this document. Required certifications and trainings must be current and on file with the State K9 Coordinator. Once determined that the minimum requirements have been met, the Handler and Canine will be represented on a State K9 Resource Call Out list. When a request for a K9 team is called into ADEM, the State K9 Coordinator and ADEM staff will determine availability, expertise and subsequent notification for deployment based on the State K9 Resource Call Out list.