Joining King County ESAR

Membership in King County Explorer Search & Rescue (ESAR) is open to those who are age 14 and older, have a desire to help others in the outdoors, and are willing to respond to emergencies whenever possible.

In order to ensure that new members have the knowledge and skills necessary to positively and safely contribute to search and rescue operations prospective members must complete King County ESAR'S Basic Training program. They must also provide documentation for several independently obtained certifications and complete core-competency training as prescribed by the Washington State Department of Emergency Management and the King County Sheriff's Office.

Basic Training Overview

ESAR Basic Training is a comprehensive program designed to prepare new members for the challenges that they will face in the field. As a trainee, you will receive instruction and demonstrate proficiency in wilderness navigation, survival skills, search method theory, first aid, and evidence search procedures.

Basic Training begins in August and runs through April. It is purposefully scheduled during the winter months to give trainees experience working in the challenging conditions they could encounter on a mission. Training may involve snow, ice, wind, rain, and other unpleasant situations. Trainees are expected to understand how to prevent hypothermia, to be aware of the conditions around them, and to take care of themselves and their team.

Basic Training requires approximately 170 hours including four overnight-weekends, and several full-day and evening classroom sessions. All courses are pass/fail and some trainees may need to repeat one or more additional weekends to successfully complete the series.

Prior to submitting an application, trainees must independently obtain a First Aid/CPR/AED certification (for example AHA, ARC, or ASHII) that includes a classroom practical skills component and submit proof of certification with their application. This certification must be valid through April 1st of the Training Season.

For additional information about the training and courses, please download a copy of the Basic Training Orientation Packet.

Basic Training Application Process & Schedule

Thank you for your interest in joining King County Search & Rescue. Out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing risk posed by Covid-19 we have had to make the tough decision to cancel our 2020-21 Basic Training.

Please join King County ESAR Interest and Like and Follow us on Facebook to continue to receive updates, join in discussion, and be among the first notified when new training opportunities are posted.