Team Member Training

SYCSRT volunteers conduct extensive training so they are prepared to respond effectively to many situations. Volunteers are provided all training, experience is nice, but not at all required. Training includes learning to find our way in the wilderness using maps and GPS, radio communications, how to track subjects of a search, first-aid and how to handle many situations that might be encountered during a mission. New team members also attend a 2-day basic training course. Below are some of our training classes.




August 2015 – Survival Training

Mission # N/A

On August 15th SYCSRT members attended a basic survival class which included making fire and collecting water conducted by our own Jim O’Neal.
Jim demonstrated how to get water in the desert from the ground and from trees with discussions on how to.
Jim also demonstrated different ways to make fire and various types of fuel we should carry with us.
A person can survive a lot longer if they have water; but fire helps.

Jim conducting the class

Jim conducting the class

Class attendees

Class attendees

Choosing sticks for making a fire

Choosing fuel for making a fire

Using fire stick to start a fire

Using a “fire stick” to start a fire

And then there was fire

And then there was fire

A ground still

A solar still

Water collected by the still

Water collected by the still

Solar still
Bush branches wrapped in a garbage bag

Bush branches wrapped in a garbage bag

Collecting the water from the bag

Collecting the water from the bag




April 2015 – Area Familiarization

SYCSRT training Mission report
Mission # 15-5320T 4-18-2015

Members of SYCSRT assembled at Pat Brown’s house (Panda Ranch) in Wilhoit.
We followed a prescribe route using “given” GPS way points. We found that the trail was well used but washed out in places.
As went progressed we watched for anything that did not grow along the way. There was very little along the route other than a few beer cans.
Members were changed off as leaders following the given waypoints for where to turn… all waypoints were found.
In addition to the fore mentioned beer cans, we also came across 3 old fenced-off mines and an old house foundation.
Familiarization with this area was needed, as there are many trails out there that some one could get lost on.

Lesions learned:
1. When entering waypoints into the GPS be sure to name them as given.
2. Read all instructions

Pink took the pictures this time.


onthe trail

on the trail

At the Skull Valley Cafe

At the Skull Valley Cafe

Forrest and Jim

Forrest and Jim

Linda and Pat on the Ranger

Linda and Pat on the Ranger

Map of way points

Map of way points

Pink and Linda on the ranger

Pink and Linda on the ranger




June 2014 – Combined MCSO High Desert Posse and SYCSRT Search Training

Mission # 14-4641T Acquired by MCSO High Desert SAR

This was a two-day two different types of training. With members of SYCSRT, High Desert SAR and members of YCSRT Quad team.

Friday June 27th was a mineshaft training and demo of the nickels shaft of the Historic Vulture mine.
Saturday June 28th was a field exercise of Search techniques from a ATV.

Friday the object was to continue training Members of SYCSRT on A safe was to check out a mineshaft. And demonstrate to High Desert SAR and the YCSRT Quad team members how we Search a mineshaft safety. We were expecting a shaft of up to 1000 feet, however it turned out t have a balk head blocking at 125 feet, We were able to take pictures of the shaft, that was different than the others, as it had wood sides.




Saturday members of all 3 units were set up in teams including a comm. Team and 4 ATV/UTV field teams. There had been Clues and objects along with 2 live people put out for members to find, some as small as a candy bar rapper and some as large as Dummy search subjects, we were tasked to find 30 + objects and most were found.






March 2014 – Winching

March’s training included discussion and demonstrations on methods and equipment need safe winching. Included was actual winching of a pickup truck over an incline and a quad up a loose rock hill. SYCSRT members present are Pat Brown, Linda Brown, Forest Fields, Daryl Drake, Tom Mueller, Cliff Nelson, Jim O’Neill and Gregg Drennan.



Forrest's Jeep with an assortment of winching equipment

Forrest’s Jeep with an assortment of winching equipment

Forrest and Daryl showing some of the winching equipment they carry on their vehicles

Forrest and Daryl showing some of the winching equipment they carry on their vehicles

Tom showing the tow  strap na dcome-along from his quad

Tom showing the tow strap and come-along from his quad


Using stakes for anchor point when trees or other anchor points aren't available

Using stakes for anchor point when trees or other anchor points aren’t available

Demonstrating using a tow strap and jack to winch

Demonstrating using a tow strap and jack to winch

winching Daryl's truck up an incline

Winching Daryl’s truck up an incline

Winching Gregg's quad up a loose rock trail

Winching Gregg’s quad up a loose rock trail

APRS Track of the area we traversed during traing

APRS Track of the area we traversed during training


January 2014 – Mineshaft Camera Operation Training

On January 18th 2014, SYCSRT conducted a training and demonstration for members of YCSO and MCSO with Unit Manager Pat Brown’s real-time wireless remote television camera and receiver.  SYCSRT members present are Pat Brown, JR Borsos, Ed Wade, Forest Fields, Tom Mueller, Janis Rupp, Linda Brown, Daryl Drake, Gregg Drennan and Cliff Nelson.


SYCSRT members prepare to demonstrate a wireless mine camera in a shaft near Wickenburg


Using a boom mounted pulley allows precise positioning while eliminating the need to approach the open shaft


Assembling the wireless TV receiver antenna before use


The wireless TV transmitter and it’s battery fit inside a lantern case, with the camera mounted outside


Quad-mounted boom approaches mine shaft suppending the camera


The camera is positioned directly over the shaft


YCSO Forest Patrol Sgt. Scott Joy and MCSO High Desert SAR’s Jim Mason observe the video output along with SYCSRT members


Another view of Scott, Jim and SYCSRT members viewing the real-time video feed

Bottom down

A real-time screen capture from the camera of the shaft floor while the camera was descending into the shaft

bottom side

Infrared capabilities allow detailed inspection of a mine shaft’s floor




November 2013

Area familiarization between Lake Pleasant and Fort Tule


October 2013

South of the Buckhorn Rd. and east of Constellation Rd; GPS and area formulization training


June 2013

Training in the area 17 miles in on the Wagner road





September 2012

On September 3rd the team met at approximately 8:10 a.m. to conduct training using a video camera to survey a mine shaft located at the Gold Bar Mine off of Constellation Rd.

Team members attending were Pat & Linda Brown, Janis Rupp, Charlie New, Charlie and Magie Yoways, JR Borsos, Larry, Al, Bob and his wife.The morning began with unloading the pulley system from Pat’s truck and setting it up while Pat set up the computer in the truck so Linda and Janis could capture pictures of the live video the camera would transmit. One thing we learned was it needed to be darker inside the truck to better view the video.About 8:45 a.m. the team started lowering the camera down the shaft facing straight down.Approximately 100 feet down we lost most of the surface light and had to switch to infrared mode.Once the camera reached the bottom of the shaft large rocks and pieces of wood were visible.The camera was brought to the surface and re-suspended sideways. This way pictures could be taken of the side of the shaft.The team hoped that the camera would spin as it was lowered to allow seeing a 360 degree view and was pleased to see it did.As the camera was lowered again, Linda and Janis captured pictures to be reviewed later including pictures of the pipe that runs down the shaft wall to give an approximate idea of where the pictures were taken.

Capturing pictures from the live video

The Gold Bar Mine headframe

Top of the shaft

The camera system housed in a flashlight case

Getting the boom and winch set up

Set up and ready to start

The camera suspended over the shaft. Note the TV antenna at the end of the boom for receiving the signal from the camera

The final checks are made

Manning the winch

Camera going down the shaft

Al monitoring the decent

Running the winch

Barrel and other debris in the side shaft

Barrel and other debris in the side shaft

Pulley from an earlier headframe

The team members would get into the truck to see the camera in action. It was very interesting. At one point we noticed a group of rocks that resembled a skull located just left of the pipes.The bottom of the shaft was again reached at approximately 250 feet where we could see a partially caved- in tunnel.  Visible in the tunnel was a large barrel on its side, rocks, boulders, and a lot of wood.The bolder by the camera was where the camera rested when it was lowered the first time.The team brought the camera back up stopping every so often to take more pictures of the wall.About 9:50 a.m. we started breaking down and repacking the equipment in Pat’s truck after which some of the group went to see the glory hole.At 10:20 a.m. we left to go back to Wickenburg arriving at 11:30 a.m.This was a great test run and learning experience.

July 2012

Pictures of the Southern Yavapai County Search Unit working with their fellow units on a mock search that was based on a missing person from the year previous July.

APRS Display

Base Camp

Out Searching


May 2012

May 12th found the SYCSRT out around Lake Pleasant.  The team explored the trails around this area that might be accessible during a search, as the Lake Pleasant area is active with recreational visitors.

This trail ends at the lake, as it is currently high

Wild burros check us out

We set up in a shady area for a stop


April 2012


Tracks from April training

SSTV still shot


March 2012

The March training brought the team up the infamous 7-11 road toward Crown King. Members got a chance to see what it would be like to get a call into this rough, but high traffic area.

February 2012

The purpose of February’s training was to not only practice on radios & GPS devices, but to test usage and transmission of our APRS devices. We learned a lot about the operation and effectiveness of the APRS system. Everyone got a chance to hone their skills at radio communications and using their GPS devices.

Forrest takes a look at the APRS tracking on a laptop

JR leads the debrief after Saturday’s training

Example of the tracks captured via the APRS during training


January 2012

January’s training consisted of two sections.

  1. Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Tieman led a discussion on situational awareness and how to approach people during a search. Of the many points that were given to us by Deputy Tieman, the two that were most emphasized were 1) to clearly identify yourself in a non-threatening way, and 2) be the best observer that you can be.
  2. The second part of the training was a review and discussion of appropriate equipment and supplies to have in your backpack(s). JR provided a list of items that we should be carrying.  Team members unloaded their packs while we reviewed the list to ensure we are always “mission ready.”


Deputy Tieman provides insight into approaching people in the field

Some of the items carried in a backpack