Sheriff's Department Hones Search & Rescue Skills
All Area Search and Rescue Organizations are Welcome to Attend Trainings
LAS CRUCES — The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol unit spent several hours in the desert west of Las Cruces last weekend, honing their skills on tracking strategies that can be used in search and rescue efforts.
The advanced training exercise was facilitated through the El Paso Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. More than a dozen Mounted Patrol volunteers joined Border Patrol agents early Saturday morning at the department’s main headquarters. They traveled to Rattlesnake Peak near the Corralitos Ranch to begin training on foot, ATVs and horseback.
Using a search method known as sign cutting, Mounted Patrol members followed evidence in the desert left by a volunteer. The exercise was a simulation.
“What we look for is any trace that someone was there,” said Bud Lulich, Captain of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol. “Wrappers of any kind, water bottles, disturbed brush – anything that could lead us to a trail that will ultimately end in a rescue.”
The exercise was a success, and all who participated were awarded certificates in advanced tracking.
The next training to be offered will be a similar exercise near the Rio Grande, according to Lulich.
“All area search and rescue organizations are welcome to attend these trainings, regardless of experience” said Lulich, adding that the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol is currently accepting applications for volunteers.
Mounted Patrol volunteers coordinate search and rescue operations at the direction and approval of the sheriff. Mounted Patrol personnel occasionally supplement law enforcement personnel.
Anyone interested in applying to be a member of the Mounted Patrol must be 18 years of age or older and pass a criminal background check. For more information, contact Bud Lulich at (575) 525-1911.