The NASAR Tracking Fundamentals (TRACKING) course is a Step-By-Step course. Establishing a field searcher’s clue and track awareness with the student being certified as a SARTECH TRACK AWARE resource upon completion. The course provides information regarding the general responsibilities, skills, abilities, and the equipment needed by persons who wish to be assigned as a Tracker to field operations during a SAR mission.
The TRACKING course content includes focus on a cycle of five skills sets [detection, interpretation, recording, tactics and trailing], which are needed by the SAR Tracker to support a search and rescue incident. Students are expected to have the proper equipment to perform on a tracking assignment in the environment of the course location; including during daylight and nighttime operations.
The material is germane to any SAR environment.
This NASAR course is designed to prepare the student to challenge the NASAR SARTECH TRACKER Examination. This test will be given at the end of the TRACKING course to determine course completion. 70% is the minimum passing grade on this written test. The written test is the first step in the SARTECH TRACKER Examination and will not need to be repeated when the tracker chooses to participate in the evaluation.
There are 4 Books currently carried by the NASAR Bookstore that are good base knowledge resources.
A selection of one  of these books, combined with the course lesson material will prepare one to pass the TRACKING written exam and this will be a first step toward a future SAR Tracker certification. Students should own at least one of these and bring book to class.
Publications that will prepare you for passing this written test are:
Fundamentals of Mantracking: The Step-By-Step Method by “Ab” Taylor and Donald Cooper
Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking by Robert Speiden
Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How by Jack Kearney
NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Chapter 13 “Tracking”; by Jones and Bartlett Publishers
All are available through the NASAR Book Store.
The recommended number of hours for the TRACKING course is twenty (20) plus hours. The course is usually conducted over a long weekend starting early on Saturday but can be taught over (3) three days starting on Friday night.
Who Should Attend
Those interested in becoming a SAR tracking resource within a search and rescue operation.
SAR personnel who would like to maintain or increase their knowledge of search and rescue tracking skills.
Managers of emergency response organizations who want to understand the state of the art skills and knowledge needed by their SAR Trackers.
While not required, the NASAR FUNSAR completion and a current SARTECH II certification are recommended as prerequisites for TRACKING
Review of the history of tracking in SAR
Nomenclature of tracking equipment and resources Skills
Review of Track Awareness and FUNSAR tracking information
SAR Tracker Responsibilities
Tracking Skill Sets:
Determining the correct shoe print
Direction of travel
Planning signcutting tactics
Reacquiring lost line of sign
Upon successful completion of the TRACKING course, the student should be able to:
Understand the relationship between inconclusive, conclusive, collaborative sign
Explain why Trackers can confidently exclaim that there is sign left behind by every footfall
Define the role of the Tracker within a SAR operation
Understand the responsibilities for the SAR Tracker
Describe the expectations of the Incident Commander upon the SAR Tracker
List the four skill sets needed by the SAR Tracker
List tracking assignments that one would expect at a ground search incident
Describe the key elements of the tracking stick and demonstrate the ability to use it
Describe advantages and disadvantages of different tracking tools
Demonstrate the use of personal SAR tracking equipment
Describe and demonstrate the controllable aspects of improving your visual cues
Understand how to set up an aging pit to increase aging of track knowledge
List the advantages to participation in “dirt time” and how it reflects on your tracking skill level
Describe the tracking capabilities and a Trackers function at night
Understand the need to sketch track and how this activity assists in our brain’s capacity to remember and perceive our subjects print pattern
List the information needed by the Tracker once a print is found and how to prepare this information for radio communication
Understand the importance of owning and maintaining a tracking log
Describe the primary types of tracking tactics
List and demonstrate at least four tracking or tactical skills needed by SAR Trackers
Demonstrate the practice of Step-By-Step trailing
Describe unique tracking techniques used for his/her environment
Describe the techniques and methods used for tracking tactics
Demonstrate the practice of effective signcutting
Describe the basic legal philosophy concerning searcher knowledge, training, physical abilities, equipment, discipline, and control; as it would apply to a SAR Tracker
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The National Association For Search And Rescue
PO Box 232020, Centreville, VA 20120-2020