Southborough emergency response teams learn search and rescue techniques

Above: CERT/MRC members train in the woods near the reservoir (photo by Carol Willoughby)

A few weeks ago, members of Southborough’s Community Emergency Response Team/Medical Reserve Corp (CERT/MRC) set up camp in the woods near the reservoir to learn about and practice search and rescue skills. The group sent along a recap of their training session, and how it will benefit the community. Read more, including how you can volunteer to help the group, below.

The Southborough CERT/MRC (Community Emergency Response Team/Medical Reserve Corp), comprised of citizen volunteers, completed a two day Wilderness and Wide Area (Residential/Urban) Search and Rescue Training provided by Central Massachusetts Search and Rescue Team (CMSART), Inc.

The curriculum covered a wide range of skill sets related to Wilderness and Wide-Area Search and Rescue which included both classroom and outdoor practical sessions. Topics involved response pre-planning, mapping, compass/GPS use, search area segmenting, basic land navigation and various search tactics. Team members also learned about lost person behavior, tracking, and clue awareness as well as an overview and demonstration of basic search and rescue gear and equipment.

Through this training the Southborough CERT/MRC has gained the basic skill sets to conduct wilderness and wide-area search and rescues for missing, stranded and/or injured persons, and criminal evidence identification/isolation. The team is officially available for rapid response to assist the Town of Southborough and other local or state agencies for these types of emergencies, no matter the scope. With Southborough containing major routes and highways, thickly populated areas, and heavily wooded and difficult terrain, the community and emergency agencies will benefit from the team’s knowledge and skills.

The team plans to continue focus and training with the goal of developing into a well skilled WASAR local asset.

The Southborough CERT/MRC is always looking for enthusiastic citizen volunteers interested in joining the team and giving back to the community. In addition to WASAR, the CERT/MRC assists in a wide range of preparedness campaigns, public health and medical assistance, sheltering, public event management and a host of clerical/administrative and hands-on activities to help enhance the safety of the community.

You can visit for an application and more information.

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