The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), a volunteer rescue group overseen by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), recently became certified in “man tracking.” The training occurred Oct. 11-13 near Hurkey Creek and Apply Canyon in Garner Valley.
The training is used to help find lost hikers or someone who has gone missing by tracking the direction of footsteps, observing the details of the footprints to help identify the type of shoe being worn, and the wear patterns that are unique to each person by how they walk. Once the first print is found, they can find a direction and search for further foot steps to help locate the missing person.
Deputy Jeremy Parsons of RCSD said, “These volunteers, who are passionate about search and rescue and helping the public in their time of need, paid for their own training out of their own pocket and volunteered their time to further their skills.”
Fourteen volunteers participated in the training that lasted three days for a total of 20 hours. Training was done during the day and at night in all different types of soil and other surfaces we commonly walk on in the San Jacinto Mountains including sand, dirt, pine needles and logs.
Many of the volunteers do this same training every couple of years to make sure they are fresh on the skills it takes to help find a missing person.