Application Process

We hope you had some fun learning the basics of Navigation and getting to know what Cal-eSAR is all about.

If you've decided to apply to the Team, onward!

Next Steps

  1. Practice Fitness Qualification hike (optional*)

  2. Submit Application

  3. Submit a Selfie

  4. Panel Interview

  5. Background check / Orientation

*'While optional, we strongly suggest you take a practice hike on the course before submitting your application and signing up for the interview

Fitness Qualification Hike

For our minimum fitness requirement, we use one standard course in Marin county. After a successful interview and you are notified you've been selected as a Candidate, your seat in the training class will be contingent on passing the Fitness Qualification hike.

Here is a link that describes the fitness course and provides tips for a successful qualification hike. It starts just off Lucas Valley Road at the tennis courts located at the junction of Luiz Fire Rd and Creekside Dr.(San Rafael). It's a 4 mile loop with 1,300 feet of elevation gain. Continue counterclockwise from the tennis court around the loop. Candidates are required to complete the test in 1 hour and 35 minutes (or less) carrying a 25 lb. backpack before they begin training.

Always good practice to tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back!


Deadline for submission is included in the email that provided you with the link to this page.

Here is the link to the online application.


We need a photo for your application. Please take a quick selfie to include with your application.

Save photo as 'lastName_firstName_application_photo'

Don't worry this is only for your application. Your unit ID photo will be done once you are in the training class.


Interview times will be sent the week before the Interviews are scheduled.

Background Check

Why we require a background check

Cal-ESAR operates at the direction for California Office of Emergency Services (OES) Law Enforcement division, as such we are part of Law Enforcement. All applicants need a background check (even if you're done before for some other organization or reason.)


SAR is old school sweaty, hard work mixed with great community and training that is fun, all rolled up into a personally rewarding experience. You're making a difference in lives when it really matters. Commitment is required to fully experience what SAR is all about.

Please keep in mind the training dates and team obligations we discussed at the Info & Intro event and be sure you are prepared to commit to them before you continue the application process.

We look forward to seeing you again in the coming weeks!