Search and rescue handlers are often volunteers. They must be physically fit, enjoy the outdoors, have time for training and searches, and take pleasure in training and communicating with their. Handlers may raise money for equipment, seminars, and travel, but they spend their own money to maintain their readiness and their . Equipment costs add up. Along with working harnesses, long lines, and vests for the , handlers need appropriate clothes for the weather and terrain, radios, flashlights with spare batteries, if the search is likely to take days in remote terrain, a hard hat, a compass, a pack to carry items on the trail, and other items.
The teams: Every year there are national seminars and evaluations of The national and international attention showered on search and rescue for skills in building searches, article searches, area searches, trailing, cadaver searches, and three skill levels of trailing. attracts owners looking to gratify their own egos by participating in a high-profile volunteer activity. But handlers are evaluated as closely as to weed out those who let their desire for the spotlight interfere with the job as well as those who cannot emotionally handle the toll of working with disaster victims. Ego distracts people from a critical aspect of a search – reading the dog. Each dog has different cues that tell the handler that it is getting close to the quarry, that it is confused or unsure, or that it is tired. A handler must understand and trust his dog's cues to know when to proceed and when to quit and not be worried about the TV cameras or other such distractions.