The application period for our 2020 recruitment cycle is now
With the effects of COVID-19, our onboarding timeline for this year has been pushed back significantly. This will likely affect our ability to take on new members in 2021, forcing us to put recruitment on hold at this time. Updates will be posted here as they become available.
Thank you for your interest in joining Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, one of the
region's premier ground search teams. If you have submitted an application, we want to make
you aware of the requirements and the process to become a member of this team and an Oregon
state certified SAR volunteer. Search and rescue is a highly demanding volunteer experience.
It requires an elevated level of commitment in terms of time, fitness and finances. Please
read the following and consider the feasibility of adding this to your life at this time.
In order for your application to be considered, you must:
Have submitted your application prior to midnight on October 15 and paid the $40
application fee. This fee pays for your uniform once you become a member. If you are not
selected as a Prospective Member, the fee will be refunded. If you are selected and
subsequently drop during the prospect period, the fee will be forfeited.
Attend a general membership meeting no later than November 12th. If you’ve already
attended a meeting this year and signed in, that counts! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to
verify previous attendance (or attend another meeting – we’d love to get more face time with
you). Meeting information can be found here.
Attend an orientation meeting. There is one remaining on November 12th from 6:00pm-
7:00pm. Our general membership meeting will immediately follow (same location). Location
information can be found on our meetings page.
If the above requirements are met…
Your application will be reviewed by the PNWSAR Board of Directors.
You may be invited to an interview with the Board of Directors.
You will need to pass a background check.
Successful applicants will be invited to participate with the team as Prospective
Members. Prospective Members must:
Attend a minimum of 2 out of 3 monthly Prospective Member classroom sessions and general
membership meetings from January to March 2020.
Attend a minimum of 2 out of 3 monthly field training exercises from January to March
Participate in Trainee Selection Day. This is a day of field exercises during which we
gauge Prospective Members’ aptitude for SAR and teamwork, and includes a fitness test.
Attendance to all meetings and training exercises during these three months is strongly
At the conclusion of the Prospective Member period, the Board of Directors will select
candidates to vote in as full-fledged team members with a Trainee status. Trainees have one
year to attain Oregon State Sheriff’s Association certification as a SAR volunteer. This is
done through our internal training program. During this first year, plan to log 150-200
hours on training exercises, meetings and missions. Our expectation is that trainees will be
fully engaged with the team while they work toward attaining their certification.
Check out our FAQS page to learn more about what we do. If
you have further questions about PNWSAR, please email email@example.com. We'd love to hear from you!
Download Equipment List
- Must be 18 or older.
- All field operations team members must meet or exceed the Oregon State Sheriffs'
Association search and rescue certification standards. We train our members internally to
meet this requirement.
- All members are background-checked and registered as Emergency Service Workers with
Clackamas County Emergency Management, Oregon Emergency Management and Washington Department
of Emergency Management.
- Each deployable member must have a minimum certification in basic First Aid and
CPR. (First Responders, EMTs, and Paramedics are always welcome).
- Our bylaws and state laws require that members maintain necessary training hours
quarterly 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 have members who
assist with base camp, communications and maintenance functions if needed.
- All team members are required to supply and maintain their own equipment. See our
equipment list (attached below) The list can appear long and expensive, but we find many
people have most of what's on this list already at home. If you find after reviewing our
equipment list that you don't have everything we require, please don't let that stop you from
applying to join our team. We'll let you know ahead of time what things are critical and
which things you can wait to get. We advise against purchasing new gear for SAR until you've
had time to discuss options with current members.
- 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...
- We are a volunteer organization. We do not get paid for our work.
- Searches are urgent in nature. We can be called out any hours of the day or
night, in all types of weather, temperatures, and terrain. Applicants who are active with
family activities and/or demanding employment schedules should consider their level of
flexibility in the home and workplace. Discuss your decision to apply with your household
- 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.
- As outlined above, 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 the team does impose reasonable
time limits to become field ready.
- Search and rescue work can be the most unforgiving, ungrateful, unappreciated work
you've ever not been paid for. You can spend 5 days on a search for someone you might never
find, or who might not even say thank you. But, it can also be the most rewarding thing you
We're often asked about the time commitment required of our team members. Here is an
outline of the 2020 training schedule (subject to change) to give you an idea of our non-
- Second Tuesday of the month (Jan-Nov)
- 6pm-7pm - Prospect classroom training (Jan-Mar)/Trainee classroom training (Apr-Nov)
- 7pm-9pm - General membership meeting
- Trainee Selection Day:
- March 21st - Saturday - 7am
- Certification Skills Assessment Days:
- June 6th - Saturday - 9am
- September 12th - Saturday - 9am
- December 5th - Saturday - 9am
- Field Trainings:
- January 18th - Saturday - 9am
- February 16th - Sunday - 9am
- March 14th - Saturday - 9am
- April 18th - Saturday - 9am
- May 17th - Sunday - 9am
- June 13th - Saturday - 9am
- July 18th - Saturday - 9am
- August 14th - Friday - 630pm
- September 20th - Sunday - 9am
- October 17th - Saturday - 9am
- November 14th - Saturday - 9am