Rescue Squad members are required to certify to at least the Minnesota First Responder level. However, advanced certifications, including EMT, Paramedic, and RN are welcomed.

Squad members must also demonstrate proficiency on squad equipment, including boats, all terrain vehicles (ATV's), radios, GPS receivers, and other gear.

These skills include: 

Helicopter Rappel Team

The Rescue Squad has partnered with the Minnesota State Patrol Aviation Division to field a Helicopter Rappel Team. Team members can rappel into remote areas, as well as short-haul patients to safety.

Human Trackers

The Rescue Squad fields 24 certified human trackers, trained to detect and follow human sign on the ground.

Human tracking is the act  of recognizing, interpreting, and following the evidence of human passage on the ground.  This evidence can consist of compressed soil, damaged vegetation, etc.

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)

The ROV is a miniature submarine, controlled from the surface via a tether. With the ROV they are able to search underwater without endangering the lives of divers. The SeaSprite scanning sonar allows the ROV to search an area more quickly than a diver, even in extremely low visibility conditions such as the Duluth Harbor.

K-9 Teams

St. Louis County Rescue Squad uses 3 types of dogs to assist with searching: trailing dogs, air-scenting dogs, and cadaver dogs.

Trailing Dogs

Capable of following the scent of a specific person over long distances (up to several miles). Depending on the conditions, these dogs can often find that person even after several days have passed. To follow an individual, these dogs require a "scent article" to get them started. A scent article is a piece of gauze that has been placed on something that was last touched by the missing party.

Air Scenting Dogs

Trained to find and follow human scent, but are not capable of discriminating the specific scent of an individual, like a bloodhound can. These dogs are quite efficient at locating humans within a search area, they are estimated as being approximately 20 times more effective than a human searcher. Unfortunately, their inability to distinguish one individual from another sometimes limits their effectiveness.

Cadaver Dogs

Specifically trained to locate the scent of humans remains. They are used in situations where the missing subject is known or suspected to be deceased. They are able to detect human remains on land, buried, and underwater and are useful in detecting human remains from very recent deaths to deaths that occurred several decades ago, or possibly longer. K-9 Ike and K-9 Ted currently work with the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.  


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