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Sandy Springs' Own Alex Collier to Present at SARCON 2024 as Guest Lecturer

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — June 10th, 2024 — Alex Collier, a nationally certified  and internationally known K9 Search and Rescue (SAR) Handler and esteemed university instructor, is set to share her extensive expertise at this year's SARCON. SARCON is the premier national Search and Rescue Conference, hosted by the National Association of Search and Rescue. Ms. Collier’s participation as a guest lecturer highlights her distinguished career and her commitment to advancing the field of search and rescue.

About Alex Collier

Alex Collier, a resident of Sandy Springs, GA, is renowned for her exceptional skills and dedication to K9 search and rescue. With almost a decade of experience, she has been involved in numerous high-profile rescue missions, often leading teams in critical situations. Collier's passion for SAR began early in her career and has grown through rigorous training and certification processes, making her one of the most respected handlers in the country.

In addition to her fieldwork, Collier is a celebrated university instructor, teaching courses on search and rescue operations, canine behavior, and emergency management. Her academic role allows her to shape the next generation of SAR professionals, instilling in them the knowledge and dedication required for this challenging and rewarding field.


SARCON is an annual gathering of search and rescue professionals, featuring workshops, demonstrations, and lectures from leading experts. The conference serves as a platform for SAR professionals to exchange knowledge, learn about the latest advancements in technology and techniques, and network with peers from across the country.

Collier's Lecture

Ms. Collier’s presentation will highlight the importance of public awareness, volunteer involvement, education, and diversity in successful SAR operations, with a particular focus on our innovative approach through a K9 Youth Handlers Program.

The primary goal of GA-CERT K9 is to provide search, rescue and recovery capabilities to law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies 24/7 in wilderness, urban and water environments. 

The secondary goal is to provide training on basic emergency response skills to local neighborhoods, community organizations, businesses, and faith based communities.

The team, 100% volunteer based, is funded completely by donations and works with local law enforcement to find missing people or bring closure to families with lost loved ones. 

The GA-CERT K9 program is committed to enhancing search and rescue capabilities within the community through collaboration, education, and volunteerism. The GA-CERT program seeks to showcase how partnerships between a certified dog trainer and an accredited university have enabled the team to establish a sustainable and effective educational tract for K9 Youth Handlers.  Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI-21) includes a search and rescue curriculum as well K9 community outreach; specifically a K9 Courtroom Advocacy Program and a literacy program lovingly named Brittney’s Buddies. These programs can serve as a model for other communities seeking to excite and engage youth in SAR initiatives.

Quote from Alex Collier

"I am honored to be a part of SARCON 2024 and to share my experiences and knowledge with fellow search and rescue professionals. This conference is an invaluable opportunity for us to learn from each other and to push the boundaries of what we can achieve in SAR operations," said Collier. "I look forward to contributing to the growth and development of this vital field."

Community Impact

Collier's participation in SARCON not only underscores her personal achievements but also brings pride to the Sandy Springs community. Her work exemplifies the dedication and skill present in the local SAR teams, highlighting the importance of community support, diversity,  and involvement in emergency preparedness and response.


SARCON is the leading national conference for search and rescue professionals, providing a comprehensive platform for education, collaboration, and advancement in the field. Each year, SARCON attracts hundreds of participants, including SAR handlers, emergency responders, and researchers, all committed to improving the effectiveness and safety of search and rescue operations.

About GA-CERT K9:

We are certified, licensed, & insured SAR K9 handlers supporting existing emergency responders. GA-CERT K9 is an organization of certified, licensed and insured volunteer emergency specialists who have received extensive training in:

Disaster response

  • K9 Tracking & Trailing
  • Human Remains Detection & Recovery (Land and Water)
  • Live Area Search
  • Community-related Medical Service Work
  • Community-related Emotional Support & Therapy Work

Contact Information

To learn more about the Georgia Community Emergency Response Team (GA-CERT K9), click HERE:

For more information about Alex Collier, her participation in SARCON 2024 or for media inquiries, please contact the:

Georgia Community Emergency Response Team (GA-CERT K9):, (404) 500-9304.

Contact Person:Shirin Shahor

Social Media

Social Media: @GACERTK9


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