Paying It Forward

Hasty Tng Danville April 2013 021By Rick Najarian

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to participate in back-to-back planning sessions at OES for two different upcoming trainings. It struck me how much planning, effort, leadership and participation goes into each of the different trainings that CoCoSAR puts on.

It’s amazing to think about all the levels of all the different types of training that go on in the organization. In any given week there could be trailering, a mock hasty search, ATVs, medical training, canines, technical rescue of one kind or another, field team leadership, navigation, metal detectors, search management, tracking or specialized equipment orientation from Logistics. I’m sure that I’m leaving out plenty of others, not the least of which are our core academies and monthly team trainings, which are major projects in themselves.

Since I’ve joined CoCoSAR, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a fair number of other California SAR teams. I try to learn what I can about how the other teams are structured and how they acquire and maintain their skills. I have to say that I have yet to see another SAR team that is so invested in the initial and ongoing training of their members as is CoCoSAR.

This doesn’t just happen. Every curriculum, every lecture, every exercise has from one to dozens of dedicated team members behind it planning and delivering. Everywhere I look, I see people discovering their passion, gaining knowledge and experience in that area and passing that knowledge and experience on to others. I think that this practice has become one of the main blocks in the foundation of our team. It has resulted in the enormous breadth and depth of skillsets that CoCoSAR brings to the party.

Every one of us has been the recipient of a huge amount of quality training as a result of participation on this team. Likewise, every one of us has a handful of experience and knowledge that we can pass on to other team members. I’d like to encourage each of us, whether we’re formally part of a CoCoSAR training organization or not, to actively seek out opportunities to Pay It Forward. It’s not just about training others; it’s the very best way for each of us to gain a deeper understanding of our own skill sets. It’s also one way to positively reinforce this team’s culture and, as a result, deepen our own sense of our place on the team.

Think about it.

(Photo: Rick Najarian supports April's Hasty Squad Training mock search by posing as roving reporter Dick Danger, from "Mega News." Search Manager Andy Comly subsequently handled the press very well and put them to use in finding the subject.)