The PNWSAR annual application & recruitment cycle is currently closed. Please check back at the end of August 2019!

Check out our FAQS page to learn more about what we do. If you have further questions about PNWSAR, please email We'd love to hear from you!

Minimum Qualifications

  • Must be 18 or older.
  • All field operations team members must meet or exceed the Oregon State Sheriff's 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.
  • 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 ever do.

We're often asked about the time commitment required of our team members. Here is an outline of the 2019 calendar year (subject to change) to give you an idea of our non-mission schedule:

  • Meetings:
  • 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 23rd - Saturday - 7am

  • Certification Skills Assessment Days:
  • June 2nd - Sunday - 9am
  • September 7th - Saturday - 9am
  • December 8th - Sunday - 9am

  • Field Trainings:
  • January 19th - Saturday - 9am
  • February 17th - Sunday - 9am
  • March 16th - Saturday - 9am
  • April 20th - Saturday - 9am
  • May 19th - Sunday - 9am
  • June 22nd - Saturday - 9am
  • July 20th - Saturday - 9am
  • August 16th - Friday - 630pm
  • September 22nd - Sunday - 9am
  • October 19th - Saturday - 9am
  • November 16th - Saturday - 9am
Download Equipment List