BRMRG Training

BRMRG trains its members extensively throughout the year, providing training through the level of ASRC Field Team Leader (FTL) and guidance to obtain more advanced certification. Indoor training takes places weekly on Tuesday nights, and covers the basics and theory of search and rescue. Every Saturday, we head to Observatory Hill or other nearby locations to combine our classroom learning with practical outdoor skills.

BRMRG Training Levels:

CQ: Callout Qualified

"Callout Qualified", or "CQ", is the most basic of search levels, and requires a background check, introduction to search theory, and online training through FEMA. Members who are CQs can participate fully in most search missions, with some restrictions. Some searches, such as semi-technical rescues, out-of-state searches, and disasters, are not appropriate for CQs.

FTM: Field Team Member

Field Team Members have participated in approximately 80 hours or more of extensive training (about 1 semester), in addition to search experience obtained at the CQ level. FTMs receive training in Land Navigation, Litter Handling, Field Team Operations, Search Theory, Field Communications, and other important skills. They can participate fully in all searches.

FTL: Field Team Leader

Field Team Leaders serve as the backbone of BRMRG by leading teams on missions and running trainings. They receive an additional 60 hours of training above the Field Team Member level and have substantial experience as an FTM. The FTL serves essential roles during missions from guiding untrained volunteers to managing evacuations of lost subjects.

Higher Levels:

There are several levels of search-and-rescue certification beyond what BRMRG provides, but we will do our best to provide you resources and guidance to continue your development. Training and certification for specialized and management-level positions occurs at a conference (ASRC) and state (VDEM) level once a member is eligible following prerequisite training and experience.

Training Schedule:

Equipment List

Required minimum equipment for callout qualification

  1. Day Pack
  2. Two liters of water
  3. Food for 48 hours
  4. Appropriate clothing and footgear for both fair and foul weather
  5. Personal first aid kit
  6. Compass
  7. Whistle
  8. Headlamp (or hands-free flashlight)
  9. Secondary light source
  10. Extra batteries
  11. Fire source (lighter, matches, magnesium fire starter, etc.)
  12. Knife
  13. Pen/pencil and notebook (waterproofed)
  14. Five 1-gallon Ziploc bags
  15. Five large, heavy-duty plastic trash bags
  16. Two pairs of plastic/vinyl examination gloves

Required equipment for all higher levels

All of the minimum, and...
  1. 20-22 feet of 1-inch tubular webbing (for ASRC seat harness)
  2. Two pieces of 8 or 9 mm perlon rescue cord, between 53" and 65" pretied length
  3. Two locking D carabineers, rated to 18 kN minimum
  4. One pair of work gloves (leather palm or equivalent)
  5. Eye protection (or glasses)
  6. Ear protection (for aircraft operations)
  7. UIAA approved climbing helmet
  8. 2 rolls of flagging tape

Additional optional equipment

  • Gaitors (for leg protection from thorns, especially in VA)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • GPS (This doesn't replace maps. Know how to use it first.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Knee pads (for FTS)
  • Camera

Required FEMA Online Courses:

Be sure to register for a FEMA SID first!

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