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Part II: NBC29 Looks Inside Virginia Search and Rescue - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Part II: NBC29 Looks Inside Virginia Search and Rescue

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NBC29 got the chance to go inside the Virginia's state wide search and rescue or "SAR" training.  The training program is designed to find missing people as fast as possible and recover them safely. Volunteers have to be able to work as a team and search under all conditions.

Bart Drummond has been on a recent search mission. Originally from central Virginia, Drummond is an operation chief for search and rescue or “SAR” in Tidewater.

“When they got there the mother got out of her car and she instantly started bawling and she said I just can't believe this many people showed up to look for my son,” said Drummond.

He teaches other volunteers at SAR training held twice a year and wears a SAR vest and other gear. “And this contains all the equipment I need to be self-sufficient for 48 hours out in the field,” said Drummond.

Billy Chrimes oversees the program which extends 40 hours over two weekends. "They started at 8 this morning and they will go as late as midnight tonight,” he said.

Students are required to go on complex practice searches.  “We teach them a little bit about fatigue in the process of training them it does wear on you there are long hours involved you still have to stay sharp you still have to train,” stated Chrimes.

Students also learn intricate ways to track people. "That's probably the biggest challenges learning the land, navigation peace. You may see changes in elevation of several hundred feet to several thousand in your task, depending on what you're sent out to do,” said Chrimes.

At the end of the course they join the regional team where they live, in Charlottesville that team is the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group.

Steven Ritter who repeatedly trains also attended the weekend program.  “Every once in a while get lucky and you save someone,” he said.

The people who become part of “SAR” spend their own personal time and money on the searches and gear.

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