Below is info regarding the composition of our SCSAR team, the equipment we can provide, and some info about our partnering agecny, SCSARDA.  If you wish to know more about the roles or functions our team can carry out, please click here: Functions


SCSAR Composition and Equipment







Partnering Agency






Searcher & Support: 42 searchers / 22 Support


Training (some overlap)

NASAR Trained: 1: SAR1, 35 SAR II, 4 SAR III

ERI Trained: 26 SARFUN, 23 Managing Land Search Operations


Active Team Members/Training


NASAR SAR I - Searcher

1.       Brian Adams


 NASAR SAR II - Searcher

1.       Tyler Adams

2.       Melanie Ballew

3.       Todd Ballew

4.       Brian Brown

5.       Tommy Burgess

6.       Pokey Burnett

7.       Ted Button

8.       Tony Craig

9.       Bonne Dean

10.    John Elmore

11.    Barbara Grudzien

12.    Bob Grudzien

13.    Jeff Hunt

14.    Ross Jamison

15.    Tim Jamison

16.    Ben Lappin

17.    Richard Lewis

18.    Joel Livesay

19.    Albert NG

21.    Dennis Price

22.    Rita Raines

23.    Jon Roberts

24.    Teresa Roberts

25.    Trinity Roberts

26.    Tyra Seymour

27.    Rick Shafer

28.    Jerry Shaw

29.    Robbie Swofford

30.    Heather Ward


Searcher/ERI SARFUN:

1.       Dana Ballew

2.       Bill Bomar

3.     James Center

4.       Sam Etheredge

5.       Jerry Hughes

6.       Tiffany Hughes

7.       Bill Leeder

8.       Doug Nissley

9.      John Scott

10.       Mike Tolman

11.    Robin Tonkovic

12.    Johnny Tucker

13.    Dave Walters



1.       Kim Burnett

2.       Gary Titcomb

3.     Jane Patterson

4.     Tracy Pridgeon



1.       Cherise Crosby

2.      Charlie Danielson

3.       Jackie Danielson

4.       Tonya Shank

5.       Kevin Shank

6.       Jaaron Shank

7.       Beverly Tonkovic

8.       Joe Tonkovic



1.       Cora Bright

2.       Dylan Bright

3.       Harriett Casas

4.       Arif Chaudhary

5.       Jorge Gutierrez

5.       Elaine Gutierrez

7.       Kerry Easler

8.       Jerry Easler

9.       Dennis Shank

10.    Kathy Wright


All Hazards - Incident Management Team Training

1.     Brian Adams

2.    Melanie Ballew

3.    Tommy Burgess

4.    Ted Button

5.    Jane Patterson

6     Rick Shafer

7.    Robbie Swofford


Managing Land Search Operations (ERI):

1.       Brian Adams

2.       Brian Brown

3.       Melanie Ballew

4.       Pokey Burnett

5.     Tommy Burgess

6.       Kim Burnett

7.     Ted Button

8.     James Center

9.       John Elmore

10.   Samuel Etheredge

11.   Elaine Gutierrez

12.   Jorge Gutierrez

13.    Bob Grudzien

14.    Barb Grudzien

15.    Tim Jamison

16.    Richard Lewis

17.    Doug Nissley

18.    Jane Patterson

19.    Dennis Price

20.    Tracy Pridgeon

21.    Tyra Seymour

22.   Robbie Swofford

23.    Beverly Tonkovic

24.    Joe Tonkovic

25.  Heather Ward

26.    Kathy Wright



Equipment highlights:

1.       25 ft gooseneck for possible IC/planning/mapping location if needed - 17,500 watt generator to run all trailer functions

2.       John Deere Gator with 2 person carrier on back

3.       Low Angle ropes rescue gear

4.       30 plus GPS'ss for field use - Garmin Rinos, 64/62's, Montanna's, etc

5.       IT capability with printing, wifi, terrain navigator pro for NC/SC, Garmin Basecamp - Topo maps of the whole US

6.       2 thermal imaging devices

7.       10 10x10 tents, 30 plus chairs, several tables, several picnic tables for setting up rehab and other locations as needed

8.       Propane Heaters and Misters as conditions/temperatures dictate for rehab/staging areas

9.       Communications room with UHF/VHF/Ham Radio/ and coming in 2016, 800mhz capabilities

10.    Self sufficient with UHF/VHF communications - 800Mhz coming soon  

11.    Two flat screens mounted in trailer for PC projection that can be used for possible planning/mapping purposes

12.    VHF and UHF mobile repeaters than can be taken to the highest point to increase radio efficiency

13.    Salamander Check/command software capability if requested - if not, we utilize TCARD in addition to signing in where requested 

14.  Zodiac with 20hp 4 stroke motor and water gear 

15.  Plum Case with 4 SSID's, 128 connections - Mobile wifi unit - 30-40Mbps on Download and 9-13Mbps on Upload





Maria Pellegrino

Maria is the current President of SCSARDA, and a founding member.  She first began training
a SAR dog in 1995, and in 2001 began SCSARDA with a fellow paramedic.  Maria has a 20 year
career as a paramedic and maintains her certification (NREMT-P). She also has EMS supervisory
experience. Her EMS experience includes 9 years on a dive rescue team, and she also worked
for air medical helicopter services during her career.  Maria is currently working as a certified
registered nurse anesthetist.  Her passion is for excellence in volunteer SAR team training and
deployment in SC. Maria holds a NASAR SAR II certification.



Sotet -   NASAR Certified Air Scent -   In Memory

Fenja -  NAPWDA Certified Cadaver -  In Memory

Duke   - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver -  Active



Mitch Henderson
Mitch joined SCSARDA in 2012. He is the Vice President of SCSARDA.  He is a certified first responder as a volunteer fireman with Boiling Spring Fire Department. In addition, Mitch has his  II certifications..  He is an avid outdorsman and runner. 
Remington- NAPWDA Certified Trailing - Active


Misha Marshall

Misha is the current Treasurer of SCSARDA. Misha joined SCSARDA in 2005. Misha is employed as a Corporate Tax Manager for a large health system in Virginia. Misha's current training goals are to continue to expand her skills in trailing and air-scent through certifications and seminars. Misha holds a NASAR SAR II certification and a Wilderness First Responder certification.



Gandalf - NAPWDA certified Trailing - In Memory

Rainey -  NAPWDA certified Trailing - Retired



Nancy Jocoy

Nancy is the current Secretary of SCSARDA. She joined SCSARDA in 2003, and is employed
as a certified quality engineer for a large non profit organization. Nancy's current training
goals are to continue to develop expertise in the field of human remains detection with Beau,
certify Tilly in trailing, and serve as a backup at the Incident Command for mapping and
planning activities when needed. In the past.. Nancy holds a NASAR SAR II Certification



Cyra-Air Scent - In Memory

 Grim - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver - In Memory

Beau - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver - Active

Tilly  - Air Scent - In Training




Laurin Landis

Laurin joined SCSARDA in 2007. Laurin graduated with honors from the South Carolina
Criminal Justice Academy and SC Department of Corrections Academy and has a
background in law enforcement. Laurin served as an assistant for defensive tactics
instructions at the criminal justice academy. Laurin is presently employed as professional
fire fighter.



Memphis - Trailing - Retired

Justice- Cadaver - in training


Sarah Hey

Sarah came to SCSARDA in 2009. She has a BA in Speech with a minor in writing, and a Masters
degree in Communication with a concentrate in marketing.  She has worked in marketing
strategy, communication, project management, speech coaching, and public relations for the
past 15 years. She brings her skills to SCSARDA and has been responsible for most of the
outreach and communication with the press about SCSARDA activities and accomplishments. 
She continues to pursue expertise in area search training with her K9 Brand.



Brand - NAPWDA Certified Air Scent -Active




Marion Tisdale


Marion joined SCSARDA in 2013. After graduating from Clemson University in 1987, Marion returned to Spartanburg to work in small business. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have 2 daughters, Catherine Eve and Ashley. As a small business owner, Marion always saw the importance of volunteerism and community involvement. From 2007-2012, he served on the Board of Directors for HALTER, a local nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback riding to the handicapped.....Combining the unique skills of animals with community service is a very fulfilling endeavor, and I have been very fortunate to have found two organizations whose membership has been so welcoming and generous with their knowledge.   Marion holds a NASAR SAR II certification and a PADI open water scuba certification.


Maya - Air Scent- In Training



Michel Galliot

Michel joined the team in June 2015. He is a the owner of a small international business specialized in the women's lingerie and swimwear industry. He always wanted to have German Shepherds and become a breeder, and in the process of acquiring his dogs, he discovered the world of search and rescue and has found great fulfillment in serving the community this way. Michel is a passionate hunter and has experience in the wilderness. Michel intends to certify Shadow with NAPWDA, then pursue Human Remains Detection training with a second dog.  Michel holds a NASAR SAR II certification



Shadow ( RIGHT ) - Air Scent - Team Certified - Active



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