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SCCSSAR Tracking Team

The Tracking Specialty Team provides highly trained, sign aware tracking teams to support search operations. Tracking is especially useful when there is a clearly defined location where the subject was last seen or when the subject's shoe or boot pattern is known. If the tracking team is able to pick up tracks or sign from the subject and establish a direction of travel, the area that must be searched can be reduced dramatically. This results in a much higher probability of locating the subject and potentially reduces the duration of the search significantly.

Tracking teams typically work in groups of three - one lead tracker and two flankers. The positions are rotated regularly as tracking requires a lot of concentration and is physically demanding. General outdoors skills, good visual perception, and a great deal of patience and perseverance are required.

The Tracking Specialty Team meets monthly for specialized training to hone their individual tracking skills and become familiar with new state of the art tracking techniques. They also arrange specialized seminars and activities with tracking specialists from other Bay Area SAR teams. This training is in addition to the required Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) training that is essential for all SAR members.