The National Search and Rescue School at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown celebrated its 40th year of saving lives today, an official ceremony will be held Friday October 27, 2006.
Founded in 1966 by the Coast Guard and Air Force, the school is devoted to teaching and standardizing the search and rescue procedures that enable the breathtaking rescues depicted in the recent Touchstone movie, The Guardian.
During the last 40 years, school instructors have trained nearly 29,000 people from more than 148 nations to carry out search and rescue missions on land and sea.
Those who graduate from its courses staff rescue coordination centers worldwide performing search planning and coordination for inland and maritime rescues. Graduates also pilot vessels and aircraft to complete rescue operations at sea and to conduct searches for downed planes and missing persons on land.
Admiral Thad Allen, a 1973 graduate of the school, now heads the Coast Guard. "I found my tenure as a young search and rescue planner in Puerto Rico to be incredibly rewarding," said Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard. "The ability to determine the most relevant information, formulate a decisive plan and then ensure its successful completion is a skill that I rely on to this day. It is a characteristic that is at the core of the Coast Guard's emphasis on mission execution, whether that mission be saving lives or securing the nation."