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Welcome Letter



Thank you for expressing an interest in Search and Rescue (SAR). Becoming involved in SAR is a commitment that should never be taken lightly. The sacrifices associated with an active participation in SAR are often more than most are willing to make. Nearly always, missions occur at the least convenient time. Most searches occur in the middle of the night during the worst weather conditions and frequently you will be faced with decisions of missing commitments the following day and going without sleep for prolonged periods. However, despite these and other challenges, many find great personal satisfaction with their involvement in search and rescue.

The SAR community experiences a high dropout rate of new members. This is often due to not knowing what to expect when joining a SAR team. There is nothing more frustrating than to invest time and money into an activity only to later learn that it just is not what you expected or are interested in. Sometimes prospective members find that another SAR organization within the county better suites their interests and abilities. In an effort to avert these types of issues, we make use of an interview process. With this, we can become acquainted with you and you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions in either a one-to-one or small group setting. By having the opportunity to discuss time, costs, and commitments before embarking in SAR, much wasted time and frustration can be avoided. With this process, it is our intention to recruit and retain only those individuals who are truly interested in and able to take on the challenges and responsibilities of search and rescue.


If, after completing the volunteer interest form and attending a monthly meeting you are still interested in joining NWBSAR, the board will schedule an interview with you. In the beginning, you will be invited to join as an initiate member. You will serve a one-year probationary period and at this time, fees will be collected.


The unit goal is to have you "Mission Response Ready" in twelve to eighteen (12-18) months. During your probationary year, you will be expected to obtain 80-90 % of your WAC (Washington Administrative Code) and unit requirements. This will require your attendance at classes and Field trainings, outside of, and addition to the regular scheduled units trainings. (WASAR, U of SAR, ESAR courses I II III, etc.)

In addition, there is canine (K-9) training, Because man- trailing skills and methods are best taught by mentoring and practice, regular attendance at the twice-monthly trainings is highly recommended, as well as individual trailing training, in between. The only way for you and your bloodhound to become knowledgeable and effective as a team is to Train, Train, and Train. In addition to the trailing, there is also a considerable amount of socialization skills your bloodhound will need. Basic obedience for you and your hound is recommended as well. As you can see, this is a labor-intensive package, requiring a tremendous amount of time and energy on your part. There is a fair amount of financial responsibility also.


The individuals we are looking to recruit will need to have no fear or dread about the rain, darkness, deep woods, or hound DROOL! A healthy sense of humor is also essential. We have need for both support personnel as well as handlers. Anyone with a sincere desire to participate in search and rescue should apply and will be considered.


Basic requirements include a minimum age of 18 prior to the start of training, no criminal background, a Washington State driver’s license, a permanent address (no P.O. Boxes), and the ability and willingness to acquire gear, complete all trainings and participate in missions. Abuse of narcotics or controlled substances, addiction to intoxicants, conviction of DUI, a poor driver’s record, and an incomplete application are a few of the disqualifications.


Thank you for your time and interest,


Andrew Kelly

Ready To Join The Pack?

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