Bay County Sheriff’s Office Hosts Weekly Search and Rescue Seminar

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PANAMA CITY -- Bay County is building its capabilities to conduct search and rescue missions.

Sheriff's officials held a search and rescue seminar Monday to give community members the training to become certified in the proper techniques and that wasn't the only certification training taking place.

Monday morning Bay County sheriff officials began a week-long training seminar called K-9 and Ground School Search and Rescue.

Melissa Frye Bay Co. Search and Rescue said, "It's important that we have the training because we don't want….We want to be professional while we're there. We don't want to do anything that would harm or with the finding of the person."

Those attended the training are all volunteers. They'll work with Bay County deputies whenever there is a need for a search mission.
The instructors teach skills like tracking and properly approaching a crime scene.

K-9 Trainer Greg Cole said, "These people are looking for your children or your father or mother that may have wandered off and be lost. Or somebody that may have even be deceased and we need to recover that for the families' closure."

Sheriff's officials also performed the annual re-certification for K-9 dogs as well.

Deputy Doug Cummings said, "We have to have them re-certified per state law we have to and that just kind of backs up when they do get an alert out in the field."

"It's a lot of fun. It's a big game for the dogs. And it is fun for the handlers. It's challenging, it's a ton of work and it's a big, big commitment,” said Frye.

The training will wrap-up on Sunday. Members of the team hope to make this an annual training event.