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 complete FEMA IS-100 and IS-700; and prior to Course C they must independently obtain a First Aid/CPR/AED certification (for example AHA, ARC, or ASHII) that includes a classroom practical skills component.

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

Basic Training Application Process & Schedule

Training Dates: The dates posted on this schedule are for August 2021 through April 2022.

Google Calendar: Our training schedule is available as a Google Calendar. View in Browser | Download as .ics

Training Fee (Due 3 days prior to Course B):

The training fee is a one-time payment and covers all required training to become an ESAR member.

FEMA ICS Training Prerequisites:

Prior to submitting an application you must complete FEMA IS-100 and IS-700.

First Aid Certification:
You must independently obtain and submit a First Aid/CPR/AED certification by 11/01/2021. It must be obtained from an organization that provides verifiable credentials and the course must include a written exam and in-person skills assessment.

Options include, but are not limited to:

It must be valid through April 2022.

If obtaining a First Aid/CPR/AED certification will pose a financial hardship, please contact

Basic Training Application:

Thank you for your interest in joining King County Search & Rescue.

Training applications for 2021-22 are now closed.

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.

If you want to get involved sooner check out some of the other organizations that are part of the King County Search & Rescue Association at

Returning Trainees:

If you started training in 2019 and are returning this year, please contact the training director: