County search and rescue team hosts open-house this Saturday

URBANA -- The Champaign County Search and Rescue Team will host a 10th Anniversary celebration this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the grounds of the ILEAS Training Center, 1701 E. Main in Urbana.

Champaign County Search and Rescue (CCSAR) membership is open to volunteers 18 years old or older. Regular training is provided so that each member is a valued asset when CCSAR is needed in the field. Certified instructors teach members how to assist in search and rescue operations, help in the recovery of bodies, and aid in evidence recovery. Team members also support disaster area operations when needed; and promote public safety to county residents.

"In the past ten years, CCSAR has participated in several searches in Champaign County, as well as assisting with searches across central Illinois," it said in today's press release announcing this weekend's festivities.

Saturday's family-friendly event will several giveaways and prize drawings. Kids can learn how to survive in the woods if they become lost through the Hug-A-Tree presentation, a program specifically designed for children between the ages of 7 and 11, developed to educate children with a few of the most basic and vital survival principles. The program is also valuable for slightly younger and older children as well.

The open house will also offer various observational skill tests, valuable information on what to take on the trail with you on a hike, and a live demonstration by a tracking dog. A display with the equipment and tools used by the CCSAR team will also be available.

For more information on the event or about Champaign County Search and Rescue, contact John Dwyer at the Champaign County EMA by phone at 217-384-3826 or by email at