Volunteering

Coquitlam SAR members are available for searches, rescues and other emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. From reading this web site you can find out information on the types of searches we do, the community events that we participate in, and the training we undergo. We also take part in committees, fund raising, equipment maintenance, and the day to day running of a team of volunteers. All of these things take time.

Who are we looking for?

Active Members

Ideally, you are an accomplished and active outdoor enthusiast who enjoys working with people and you maintain a reasonable fitness level. No prior SAR experience is needed but we do look for enthusiasm, ability to work as a team player and a minimum level of hiking experience. First-aid skills to a Basic First-Aid level (St John’s Ambulance Basic First Aid) or equivalent are desired, but not mandatory; any other backcountry skills will be an asset. You will own the minimum essential equipment for safe hiking and backcountry travel, and know its proper use. You will also know how to navigate.

If you’ve ever been lost and required rescue, we won’t hold that against you.

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Time commitment

Coquitlam SAR members dedicate an average of 300 hours a year to the team, not including active search and rescue activities and committee work. The 300 hours is almost exclusively training and preparedness. Details on what kinds of skills we train for are on the training page, but a summary is presented here.

You will be available, at a minimum, to attend training every Tuesday evening (3 hours average) and one or two weekend days a month (6-8 hours average). Members in Training (MITs) must attend 100% of the Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) course (80 hr. total), and a minimum of 50% attendance at team training and searches thereafter.

If you will be unable to meet the minimum attendance requirements, please do not apply.

In addition to regular training, there are various SAR courses offered by the Justice Institute of BC, and other providers, some financed by Emergency Management BC, and others paid for by the team’s own fundraising. These are usually 24 hours (three or four consecutive days). You are also expected to maintain your first aid certifications.

Members are also expected to take part in community education events, team management through committee work, and team fundraising.

The most important thing when considering whether or not to volunteer is to evaluate the time commitment.

Recruitment

Our recruitment process happens approximately once every two years, and the process is as follows:

  1. The team issues a recruiting notice on the web site, social media and in the local newspapers.
  2. The team schedules an evening information session to provide more information and answer questions.
  3. Prospective members submit a written application.
  4. Applications are reviewed and the best-qualified candidates are invited to an evaluation hike.
    This hike will take place in terrain that is typical for searches in this area, and it is rated a moderate hike.
    We will be looking at your level of fitness, outdoors knowledge, attitude, proper gear, etc.
  5. Applicants attend an interview of about 30 minutes with our recruitment committee.
    We will let you know the time and place for interviews, by email, following the hike.
  6. Selection of new members is made as quickly as possible after the interviews, and all those interviewed are informed of the results.
    If you are not selected we will let you know why. Those who are selected will begin training in early November and will be eligible to become full members once all training requirements have been completed, roughly one year.

Any applications that we receive between recruitments are kept on file, and we will contact you when the next round occurs.

Training

If you are accepted to the team, you will become a member-in-training (MIT) and subjected to a minimum of one year of training to become a full member. MITs complete the 80 hour Ground Search and Rescue course (GSAR) with the team over the 1st year. The first six months of MIT training involve an even larger time commitment than usual, and MITs are expected to maintain a 80% attendance rate during this time.

Application

We always welcome applications. The first step is to fill in the membership application form, add details concerning your volunteer experience, training and qualifications and send it to us (fax, email or regular mail). We will contact you when our next recruitment period comes around.

Download Application here: Coquitlam SAR Membership Application<pdf>

We encourage people who are considering applying for membership to take this free, online introductory SAR course developed in cooperation with the BC Search and Rescue Association, the Justice Institute of BC and the RCMP. While this is not a requirement for membership on the team it will give you some idea about how SAR works in BC.

Applications can be submitted via email, regular mail or fax.

Questions?

Feel free to use the form below to email us: