S271 Foundations of Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking (F.A.S.T)

May 18, 2018June 03, 2018


This course is designed as an introductory course focused on the fundamental principles of tracking and clue awareness, the FAST course delves into the ancient art of visual tracking. Course content includes the detection, interpretation, recording and trailing of sign, track team tactics, and the appropriate deployment of signcutting skills within the SAR environment. The FAST course consists of 50% classroom and 50% field instruction. Fieldwork is held regardless of current weather conditions unless extreme conditions present personal safety concerns.

This class replaces the previous Field Team Signcutter Course and is no longer a certification course. You will receive a certificate of completion for the class.


Minimum age: 18

Current certification as a Field Team Member

Affiliation with a SAR response organization

Physical Ability and Conditioning: Search and Rescue is hard, physically demanding work. Prospective students to the field classes must be capable of ascending steep slopes (up to 60 degrees) over rough terrain, in the dark, while carrying a backpack that may weigh up to 40lbs. After several hours in the field under the previously described conditions, the student will then enter the rescue portion of the course. During the rescue SAR personnel will assist in the carry-out of a patient as part of a rotating 6-person team. The litter with patient package may weigh up to 300lbs. If you are not physically capable of such strenuous activity, please do not sign-up for this class.

Target Audience: Search Team Member (volunteer SAR groups only) or SAR First Responders (Law Enforcement/Fire/Rescue/EMS Only).


Typically this course is presented over the course of two weekends.

Weekend #1   (5/18-20/18)                 Weekend #2   (6/1-3/18)

Fri1900-2200                                          Fri1900-2200

Sat0800-2100                                         Sat0800-2100

Sun0800-1700                                        Sun0900-1700

Most classes have items that should be completed between weekends.

Location: Frederick County Public Safety 1080 Coverstone Dr. Winchester, VA 22602

To register for this course, click here: Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center.

Course Manager:

Amanda Weaver

Academic Support Technician



Event Details

May 18, 2018June 03, 2018
2 weekends
Friday 1900-2200 Saturday 0800-2100 Sunday 0800-1700
Frederick County Public Safety 1080 Coverstone Dr. Winchester, VA 22602
Course Manager:
Amanda Weaver
(804) 897-9756