IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
and want to know more, we urge you to contact us and schedule to visit during one of our training sessions
All ﬁeld operations team members must meet or exceed the PaWSAR’s certiﬁcation standards. We train our members internally to meet this requirement.
Each deployable member must have a minimum certiﬁcation in basic First Aid and CPR. (First Responders, EMTs, and Paramedics are always welcome.)
Our bylaws require that members maintain the necessary training hours in order to provide the safest and highest level of expertise.
While outdoor experience is not required, you do need to be in good physical shape to be a ﬁeld operations member. In addition to ﬁeld operations, we also assist with command and communications functions if needed.
All team members are required to supply and maintain their own equipment. (Will be expensive)
We are an active team and we will require a lot of your time if you join. Your ﬁrst year will be especially busy with certiﬁcation training and testing on top of normal group functions.
This requires a high level of commitment.
Before joining, you should know…
Before you decide to apply to be a search and rescue (SAR) volunteer, there are some things about SAR work we would like you to know. The following list of SAR-related issues isn’t meant to scare you away or discourage you from joining our team. We simply want to make sure you have as much information as possible before making this type of commitment.
We are a volunteer organization. We do not get paid for our work.SAR work can be the most unforgiving, ungrateful, unappreciated
work you’ve ever not been paid for. You can spend days on a search for someone you might never ﬁnd, or who might not even say thank you. SAR work can also be the most rewarding thing you ever do. We train and search in all types of weather, temperatures, and terrain–both day and night.
We search for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations: missing hikers, hunters, children, Alzheimer’s patients, suicide victims, body recoveries, and more. We also do evidence searches including those for human remains. You always have the option of not going on any particular callout, but we want you to know up front that we do a lot more than just ﬁnd missing hikers.
Group membership is not a quick process. There are a number of team requirements that must be met before you are allowed to participate in real missions. Your personal motivation level will dictate your progress and becoming ﬁeld ready. Becoming a Search Dog Handler
Besides training a dog, the handler must also learn many things before certiﬁcation and ultimately deploying on real searches. Individual teams have different requirements for handlers, such as Crime Scene Preservation, First Aid, CPR, Canine First Aid,
Lost Person Behavior, Map Reading, Compass Use, Radio Communication, and courses in the Incident Command System, just to name a few.
There are many levels, which you can serve the team based on your physical abilities and skill sets, and we have a job for everyone! All we ask is that you make the same long term
commitment to the team as those interested in ﬁeld operations.
All potential members should remember that we’re all volunteers! We’re all dedicating our free time, and we’re often working with limited resources. This makes for a different environment than what’s found in a professional workplace, because in PaWSAR nobody does anything because they “have” to, they do it because the want to, often with fewer resources than they’re accustomed to having.
Our mission and objectives are serious ones, sometimes gravely serious. As such, our commitments to training, to each other, to the public, to our effectiveness, and to our organization are taken equally serious. Our number one goal is to get the job done and do it with the best-trained personnel possible. We want potential members to understand this without any misconceptions. We’re a good-natured team that loves what we do, and we have a lot of fun doing it, but we take our roles, responsibilities, and commitments very seriously. “That Others May Live”