Is Search and Rescue right for you?

Search and Rescue is a very unusual volunteer experience. It takes…


  • Initial training takes approximately 200 hours: 8 weekends of overnight camping in a primitive environment over 8 months.

  • Continual training from that point on.

  • ‘On call’ status 24/7 about 1 week per quarter

If your calendar is already packed dawn to dusk with limited flexibility, SAR is probably not a good fit for you at this point.


  • Searches never seem to happen on a Saturday when you have nothing else to do.

  • Depending on your employer and profession, you’ll likely have to sacrifice precious vacation time at some point.

  • During your on-call week you'll have to be packed, ready-to-go, prepared to drop your plans and be out the door in a hour to respond to a search callout.

  • As often as not the weather does not include blue skies and sunshine.

  • The cost of your gear and transportation is all yours.

  • You’ll literally pay for the privilege of public service and volunteering with our team.

Energy / Resilience

  • Physical- Carrying a pack for miles over rough terrain on the SEARCH portion of a mission and a stretcher with a person in it during the RESCUE piece is strenuous physical work. You have to be reasonably fit and pass the fitness qualification.

  • Mental- It is important to understand that SAR missions can include crime scenes, the recovery of physical remains and other difficult circumstances including interaction with a subject's distraught family members.

  • Unfortunately SAR missions with sad outcomes are common, are you mentally prepared for that?

You may ask:
“This is a lot to ask of an unpaid volunteer, why do this?”

Fun, Learning and Community

If you enjoy the outdoors you will have a lot of fun learning valuable skills with people of similar interests and values. If you stick with it you'll make great friends.

Moving the needle

When you participate in a SAR mission, regardless of the outcome, you will play a role in changing the trajectory of people’s lives. It doesn’t get more ‘real’ or more gratifying.

Sense of purpose / mission

Our mission is crystal clear...when someone’s life depends on the efforts of others, we are the ‘others’.