Join Cal-ESAR

Why join?

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Do you want to make a difference and give back to your community doing what you enjoy? Are you prepared to make a significant time commitment?

If the answer is yes, review the basic requirements for SAR in general and our team in particular here.

If the answer is still yes, consider becoming a Search and Rescue volunteer with Cal-ESAR. You can find our application and selection process here.

Our training cycle starts in October and welcomes those that want to help when someone’s life literally depends on the efforts of others. It's a rewarding experience.

How do I find out more?

Attend an Intro and Info Event

Our annual application process begins in May - June each year. The first step in the process is letting us know now you're interested by completing the form below. You'll receive a email or text about 4-8 weeks before the Bay Area based Intro & Info event recruiting sessions with location date & times, and asking that you sign up to attend one of the sessions. The Info and Intro sessions include a one hour presentation and Q&A period.

When we reach out in late March - April with the Intro & Info Event schedule for the year the details are also posted at this link.

You should also check out the training weekend dates. Attendance at all training events is required. If you think you are interested in applying to the team we strongly suggest you reserve those dates on your calendar before you apply.

Fill out this form to let us know you are interested

As mentioned above filling this form out is step one. This is not a commitment on your part, we are just adding you to our list of interested individuals so we contact you when our next recruitment window opens. It is NEVER shared with anyone, for any reason, period.

Special Notes:

Cal-ESAR is based in Northern California and as a practical matter if you live outside of the greater Bay / Sacramento Areas we are not the best team for you logistically. Our training program requires one overnight weekend a month (primitive camping) in the Bay Area from October through May and regular, ongoing physical presence there after.

Cal-ESAR is part of California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Branch. If you have ever been convicted of a felony stop here and do not apply. That conviction will come out during the mandatory background check and we can not accept you.

What training will I get?

Participants receive training in:

  • Outdoor Skills

  • Wilderness Navigation

  • First Aid

  • Technical Rope Skills

  • Snow Survival (optional)

  • Search Techniques

  • Rescue Procedures

  • Emergency Preparedness

  • Radio Communications

You can find out more and see the dates for training weekends on the Training Overview page.