I have taken both basic and advanced tracking with Fernando here in New Mexico. As a member of Search and Rescue and retired Law Enforcement, I found these classes to be outstanding. Within a week of the advanced class, a classmate from a neighboring team used Fernando’s tracking techniques to locate a missing person. My desert hikes are no longer the same as I find myself looking for track. I look forward to Fernando’s next class in New Mexico.
Following the unsuccessful first two Operational Periods of 12 hours each and, now well into our third Operational Period, a searcher from OP Period two has returned to Incident Base and approaches me (Planning Section Chief)wanting to know if I have time to talk to her. Since we now have all the teams deployed to the field and actively searching I take the time and say, ‘Of course.’ This searcher starts telling me about some tracks she had followed on Op Period 2 – and the more she talks and the more she responds to my questions; stride, dwell, age of tracks, direction of travel, etc. the more I’m certain that this tracker has almost located the subject – I can feel the round pegs falling into the round holes, the square pegs falling into the square ones, etc. I immediately advise OPS Section Chief to deploy resources to the site of the tracks and within 15 minutes we have a find.
Without the tenacity of the searcher returning to discuss the tracks with me and, much more importantly, if this searcher had not seen and followed the tracks we may not have found the subject who, sadly for all, was deceased. I need to emphasize that the subject was subsequently determined to have become deceased well before OP Period one when the search was initiated. Thanks to this tracker for focusing on the tracks that led to a ‘find’ As always, in the case of a recovery, we work for the family and the friends of the subject. Many thanks to Fernando for his having trained us in the importance of and skills associated with tracking – for both personnel on the ground and for those of us who sometimes work Incident Base.
New Mexico Search & Rescue
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