Often, search and rescue dogs are used but first, humans and canines have to be trained.
In Greencastle, there is an organization called The American Mantrailing Academy providing free training to all search and rescue teams or individuals willing to volunteer their time and services to assist local authorities, Homeland Security, or emergency management agencies and others when searching for lost or missing persons.
Founded by K-9 Master Trainer Tony Keith last March, the organization has a host of trainers and master trainers who meet twice a month to provide no cost training to teams who come from as far away as Ohio, Kentucky, Evansville and Fort Wayne.
On Aug. 15, the AMA will host the second Big Dog Benefit Ride to support the education and training of volunteer search and rescue teams across the Midwest.
Registration begins at 10 a.m., at the Speedway gas station in Greencastle and the first bike out will be at 11 a.m.
The ride will cover more than 100 miles of roadways in southern Indiana.
Cost is $20 per rider and $25 with a passenger. The price includes meal and entertainment. All bikes are welcome.
A cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings will follow the ride. Music will be provided by SlyOne Entertainment. Prizes will be given for the best poker hand, worst poker hand and longest ride in. Big Dog Ride shirts will be available for $15.
A drawing for a Kenmore Gas Grill will also take place. Those interested in attending do not have to be present to win.
Tickets for the grill are $1 or six tickets for $5, 13 tickets for $10 and 30 tickets for $20.
Registration may be completed online at www.americanmantrailing.com/bigdogride.
The AMA organizes two academies each year in the spring and fall. During the spring academy in June 2009, the academy was able to sponsor three search and rescue teams by covering the cost of their lodging, goods and training.
"This was possible through AMA members doing other fundraisers such as washing cars, block parties and raffles," Keith said.
The free K-9 training is available to the public and to any person who wants to attend even if they do not own a canine.
"This training is very beneficial for Indian scouting, land navigation, perimeter establishment, (crime scene investigation), obedience, protection, trailing and human remains detection," Keith said.
A schedule of training dates is available on the AMA website and there are still slots open for the fall academy for anyone who would like to be a part of training at Camp Na Wa Kwa in Poland.
More information may be obtained by calling Keith at 765-720-8940 or visiting www.americanmantrailing.com.