by Dave Spencer

Sometimes maintaining a SAR skillset isn’t necessarily directly related to the rescue of a stranded hiker or wandering dementia patient. Sometimes practical training can involve tasks as basic as getting the Team on scene safely with the correct equipment to accomplish the mission. Carson City Sheriff’s Search and Rescue focused on one of those basic skillsets last month with a “Trailering Rodeo” in support of the Unit’s ever expanding equipment base (some borrowed from the SO). 

After a 40 minute multi-media training presentation during our Thursday evening meeting, Training Coordinator Pete had the Team set out for the Corporate Yard on Saturday to put the formal training to practice. Using Public Works’ Commercial Driver’s License road course as the basis for his plan, Pete added cones here and there to set up a timed course that required maneuvering through two different tight “S” curves, movement and repositioning outside the course, and then a long backing straight away that converged at the far end leaving about six inches room on each side of the trailer. 

Each participant had opportunities to work a Jeep towing a single axle Side by Side trailer, an F-150 towing a twin axle flatbed, and lastly an F-250 pulling our new twin axle Command/Utility trailer. After suitable warm up attempts members were timed through the course with points removed for hitting a cone, running over a cone, obliterating a cone, and flattening the facilitator’s foot (automatic elimination). Consideration was also given to moving through and around the course at a safe speed (no points were taken but attempts to break Mach were verbally addressed).

Training was also done with a newly acquired bluetooth brake controller that will allow us to easily move it from vehicle to vehicle as needed. (Does your utility trailer require brakes? See NRS 484D.250 Equipment required.)  Congratulations to Lee for completing the course with both the short and long trailers in around one minute forty seconds.  Overall it was a great training event giving some an opportunity to hone their skills and others an opportunity to expand their comfort zones a bit. Thanks for all the effort Pete!