Ozark Rescue Suppliers has been involved in the field of search and rescue (SAR) training and response, both in incident management and as field responder, since 1987. Besides the company owner's lengthy career in law enforcement and associated responsibilities with other emergency service disciplines as a public safety officer, he assisted in the development of and managed two public response SAR programs during that period as well. In 1993 ORS teamed-up with Rescue 3 International (RQ3) to offer the latest curriculum in swiftwater and technical rope rescue training and seminars. Since that time ORS has instructed over 4,000 course participants in those disciplines, as well as search and search management training programs. Over those eighteen years, training courses and seminars have been instructed in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Vermont, Puerto Rico and Wales. The relationship with Rescue 3 International expanded at the beginning of 2012 when we forged a contract with RQ3 forming Rescue 3 - Central States Region (RQ3-CS) and the owner of ORS becoming the agent for RQ3-CS. This expanded relationship is a win-win for both companies as it allows for better quality control of course programs for RQ3 Corporate and the ability to expand the training market within the region. Today, as has been the case for several years, the training programs offered through ORS and RQ3 all meet the standards established within National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1670 and 1006 documents.
To get the feel for the training program all one has to do is speak with former participants. The common testimonial one will receive is that ORS/RQ3-CS offers one of the most intensive and challenging training programs. Our partner, RQ3, was one of the first, if not the first, to convert the majority of their training programs to meet the industry parameters established within NFPA 1670 – Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and NFPA 1006 – Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications standards. As a matter of fact many of the general requirements for the Water Search and Rescue section and the specific awareness, operations and technician requirements under the Surface/Swift Water have been incorporated within the standard as result of the history (since 1979) and development of the RQ3 training programs.
The company owner was exposed initially to the field of SAR during his experiences with the Boy Scouts of America where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Subsequently, he pursued his Bachelor of Arts degree from then Memphis State University where he also attended Park Ranger career training in the fall of 1982 and spring of 1983. It was during that training regiment that he received his first official SAR course instructed by the National Park Service. He became more involved in the discipline in 1987, eventually leading the development of the first, well respected, regional/local agency SAR team located in Benton County, Arkansas. During that same period for fourteen years he was also the program/incident coordinator and lead instructor for the reputable state agency training and response program of Arkansas State Parks. All of these responsibilities required him to travel extensively to obtain nationally recognized training bringing it back to the region and cross-training fellow teammates and colleagues. Because of those training experiences and communication with other SAR organizations in the United States, it was apparent that a need for search and rescue training and equipment existed in the four-state region of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Further exposure revealed that professional training in the fields of search/search management, swiftwater/flash flood rescue, technical rope rescue, and cave rescue was very much lacking.