Pennsylvania Wilderness Search And Rescue (PaWSAR) provides search services on a volunteer basis in lost person incidents occurring in wilderness and rural environments. This is the express purpose for which the Team was established. Trained search team personnel respond to requests for services from Emergency Management Associations in Pennsylvania, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, other search teams, local fire departments, police, and other agencies involved in lost person incidents. Search services provided include those involving search management, search dog teams, and ground searchers. PaWSAR responds to requests for search services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
PaWSAR members are experienced emergency service providers. In addition, PaWSAR requires its field-team qualified members to have national certifications. Costs of training an certification are incurred by the individual members themselves. In the future, PaWSAR hopes to seek grants and sponsorships to help with training costs. Members are responsible for acquiring, at their own expense, the required equipment and supplies for search activities and ongoing training. In the future, PaWSAR hopes to seek grants and sponsorships to purchase communication, navigation and other necessary equipment for search activities.