Search, Rescue group seeks new members

WINTERSVILLE, Ohio – The Northern Ohio Valley Area Search and Rescue organization will meet at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wintersville Volunteer Fire Department on Luray Drive, in front of St. Florian Hall.

Anyone interested in joining NOVASAR is welcome to attend, according to Dave Nicholson, the nonprofit organization’s secretary-treasurer.

“NOVASAR assists local police if there is a lost child or adult to help them find the lost person,” Nicholson said. “We do searches, and we also have search dogs as well to help them out. We are trained to do that.

“We have 10 active members and are looking for more volunteers. We are all volunteers, and we train as often as we can.

“If you have a dog that you think might be a good search and rescue dog, please come, and our dog handler Cathy Bocek can help give you some ideas on how to train your dog.

“The dogs are used if we have a scent article for the lost person for them to find. Everyone has a different scent. The dogs are trained to go to the person they are scented to find.”

Questions about the group can be directed to Nicholson at (740) 544-6249 or (740) 632-4239.

Nicholson and Christina Nicholson are available to give presentations on the Hug-a-Tree Program to youth groups.

The program was developed after a lost boy was found dead in the forest after he had strayed away from his parents in California, according to Nicholson.

“It tells the children what to do in case they get separated from their parents. Basically it teaches a child to find a large tree and stay there until the searchers find you. It teaches children not to move around and stay in one place,” Nicholson said.