Chief Jay Schwartz delivers a training seminar at the IDU base in Samarai.
Chief Jay Schwartz delivers a training seminar at the IDU base in Samarai.IDU

A landmark seminar took place this week between the American National Association For Search And Rescue (NASAR) and the Israel Dog Unit (IDU), an Israeli nonprofit specializing in search and rescue. It is the first time NASAR has worked with an Israeli organization.

Chief Jay Schwartz, who serves as the commander of the Community Search and Rescue (CommSAR) unit and as a qualified NASAR instructor, held a course for IDU volunteers, as well as several other Israeli emergency rescue organizations, to earn NASAR's Initial Action certification for incident commanders.

The course was held on Tuesday, the fourth day of the holiday of Sukkot, at the IDU's base in Samaria.

Chief Schwartz noted that he also learned a lot from the IDU's practical experience and that he was glad to exchange information and techniques that could contribute to saving the lives of missing people in Israel and the United States.

''It was an incredible experience teaching this class. I worked with an amazing group of dedicated volunteers who took time off their holiday schedules to come together to help save lives. We all learned from each other and shared current best practices in Search and Rescue Management. I look forward to working with this great group in the future,'' Chief Schwartz commented.

IDU director Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov added: "We organized an important training session today, and opened our doors to all search and rescue organizations in Israel, hoping to upgrade and leverage the search and rescue community in Israel by adopting international standards in the field. God willing, tomorrow we will apply some of the new principles and technologies that Chief Schwartz presented to us in the continuation of the search in the Ein Hod area, to locate Itamar Shlizinger."