Want to Join US?

3 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Do I love helping people?

Our members donate an average of 100 volunteer hours each year helping strangers. For some, it’s many, many more. That might sound like a lot, but the time goes quickly when your passion has a purpose.

Am I prepared to work hard?

Search & Rescue missions often require many rigorous hours spent in arduous conditions, and in some units, you do it all with a rescue pack on your back. The work is not easy, but that might be exactly why it’s so satisfying.

Can I respond to unplanned missions?

The call for help can go out at any time. We need people who can answer the call. While mission response is always voluntary, our members typically find the time to respond to at least eight missions per year.

Shared Application Requirements

Emergency Worker Application

All new King County Search & Rescue applicants must complete a Washington State Emergency Worker application which includes a criminal background check.

CPR & First Aid Certification

All King County Search & Rescue members must maintain certifications in CPR and First Aid. Some units require these certifications as a part of their application process.

Online FEMA Training

All new members must complete online training modules in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS).

Which Search & Rescue Unit is Right for You?

King County Search & Rescue is made up of nine separate and specialized units. Each has its own training, admissions requirements, and timelines. Review the summaries below and click the images to link to the unit websites for more detailed application information.

King County Explorer Search & Rescue

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches,
recoveries, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Rigorous fieldwork including carrying a 20-40lb rescue pack up mountain trails.
Core Requirements: Completion of 170-hour Basic Training course (about 6 months).
When to Apply: May-July. Basic Training starts in August.

 

King County 4x4 Search & Rescue

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches, recoveries, disaster response, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Transporting ground searchers and subjects in your personal 4×4 vehicle. Managing traffic and logistics at a field command post.
Core Requirements: Valid Washington State driver’s license and insurance. Attend a team meeting. The ability to complete core competency training within one year.
When to Apply: Any Time. Applications are reviewed monthly.

 

Seattle Mountain Rescue

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, recoveries, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Rigorous field work including carrying a 20-40lb rescue pack in steep, mountainous terrain sometimes over snow and ice.
Core Requirements: 3 years of alpine mountaineering experience, including technical rock and glacier. Demonstrated intermediate level mountaineering skills. References from two members of the mountaineering community.
When to Apply: Any Time. New applicants are interviewed during February and August Board meetings.

 

King County Incident Support Team

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches, recoveries, disaster response, large events, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Administrative work in field command centers including incident management, planning, logistics, and communications.
Core Requirements: Valid driver’s license and insurance. Ability to complete required training within one year. Ability to obtain an FCC amateur radio license within two years.
When to Apply: Any Time.

 

King County Search Dogs

Missions Types: Wilderness and urban searches, water searches, police evidence searches, recoveries, disaster response, public demonstrations and safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Dog handling and team support (navigation and communications). Substantial ongoing dog training and re-certification with 3-5 unit training events per month.
Core Requirements: After completing the unit interview process, handlers and support complete all core SAR competencies. Airscent and Trailing handlers train weekly for 18-36 months before passing certification tests and deploying on missions.
When to Apply: Applications accepted on an annual depending on current needs. Join the waiting list to be notified about future information sessions and application periods by contacting the membership committee.

 

Regional Special Vehicles Unit

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches, recoveries, disaster response, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Driving a personally-owned ATV, snowmobile, or dual sport on backcountry trails to search for subjects, transport subjects, and transport ground searchers.
Core Requirements: Valid Washington State driver’s license and insurance. Completion of the ATV online E-Course. Completion of unit specified training. An ATV, Snowmobile, or Dual-Sport that meets unit requirements.
When to Apply: Any time.

 

Northwest Horseback Search & Rescue

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, police evidence searches, safety education.
Typical Mission Work: Rugged horseback trail riding to search for subjects and transport gear.
Core Requirements: Good trail riding experience. Complete Field Training Course (includes 3 overnights). Access to a trained, field-safe horse. Self-sufficient with rider and horse transportation. Pass qualification test.
When to Apply: Applications are accepted throughout the year. New member training begins in January.

 

Ski Patrol and Rescue Team (SPART)

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, avalanch rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches, recoveries.
Typical Mission Work: Backcounty travel in snow with a 20-40lb rescue pack.
Core Requirements: Current member of the National Ski Patrol.
When to Apply: Any Time.

 

Pacific Northwest Trackers

Missions Types: Wilderness searches and rescues, urban missing person searches, police evidence searches, recoveries.
Typical Mission Work: Human tracking in wilderness and urban settings.
Core Requirements: Attend initial training sessions and demonstrate interest in becoming an associate member.
When to Apply: Any Time.