ESAR members thrive not only by providing the outdoor community with search and rescue services, but also by taking advanced technical, or leadership training, participating in social outings, and by contributing to the success of their peers and the unit by volunteering as staff, or committee members. As the only unit in the county that accepts youth members ESAR is committed to providing these same opportunities for youth and adult members alike. As a result, our youth members gain confidence, leadership skills, and experience dealing with dynamic and potentially dangerous situations; skills that enable them to excel as leaders both inside and outside of ESAR.
ESAR's Basic training program will provide you with the skills necessary to be an effective Team Member on a Search & Rescue operation. You will receive extensive and demanding training in wilderness navigation, survival, search procedures and basic first aid. After completing basic training members also have access to more advanced training such as search management, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, technical rope rescue and more.
As a prospective member, you should have a passion for helping others, even during inclement weather, and on all manner of terrain; dedication to our extensive training program; a willingness to respond to emergencies whenever possible; and, positively represent King County ESAR and the King County Sheriff's Office at all times.
King County contains some of the most varied terrain in the United States: Our operations can take place just a few feet above sea level on the streets of Seattle, on the 7-8000 foot peaks of the remote Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, and everywhere in between. Our most common missions include:
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 CPR. You will also receive instruction on Helicopter Safety, Legal Issues, and Crime Scene Awareness. After basic training, many of these certifications must be maintained through ongoing training. Some can be renewed by going on missions, whereas others will need to be maintained through continuing education every two or three years. That said, the most important skill learned in ESAR Basic Training is teamwork.
Basic Training begins in August and runs through April; it is purposefully scheduled during the winter months to give trainees experience working in the worst 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 a minimum of five weekends and one weeknight. Four of the five weekends include overnight camping; the other two weekend days are split and each consists of one eight-hour day of indoor classes. At least half of our successful trainees require one or more additional weekends to successfully complete the series.
For additional information about the training and courses, please download a copy of the Basic Training Orientation Packet.
The 2017-18 training season has concluded. The 2018-19 training schedule will be posted soon. If you would like to be notified when the schedule is posted, please Click Here to sign up for the Course A Mailing List.
These tentative dates are valid for Aug 2017 through Apr 2018.
Trainings must be completed in the order that they appear below.
Trainees returning from last year should:
|Course A - Orientation|
|August 1st||7:00-9:00 PM||Sammamish - Fire Station 83|
|August 9th||7:00-9:00 PM||Issaquah Highlands - Fire Station 73|
|August 17th||7:00-9:00 PM||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|August 21st||7:00-9:00 PM||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|August 26th||9:00-11:00 AM||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|August 29th||7:00-9:00 PM||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|Course B - Map and Compass|
|September 9-10||8:00am - 5:00pm||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|September 23-24||8:00am - 5:00pm||23rd: Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
24th: Issaquah Highlands - Fire Station 73
|October 7-8||8:00am - 5:00pm||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|October 21-22||8:00am - 5:00pm||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|Course C - Search Theory and Field Practice|
|October 7-8||Sat 6:30 AM to Sun 3:00-4:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|October 21-22||Sat 6:30 AM to Sun 3:00-4:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|November 4-5||Sat 6:30 AM to Sun 3:00-4:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|November 11-12||Sat 6:30 AM to Sun 3:00-4:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|Course I - Navigation Practice|
|November 4-5||Sat 6:20 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|November 11-12||Sat 6:20 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|December 2-3||Sat 6:20 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|January 6-7||Sat 6:20 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|Course II - Navigation Evaluation|
|December 2-3||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|January 6-7||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|January 20-21||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|February 3-4||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||Camp Edward|
|Searcher First Aid|
|January 27th||9:00 AM - 6:00 PM||Carnation - Fire Station 85|
|February 10th||9:00 AM - 6:00 PM||Carnation - Fire Station 85|
|February 17th||9:00 AM - 6:00 PM||Issaquah - Eastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters|
|Course III - Mock Search|
|February 17-18||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||TBD|
|March 3-4||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||TBD|
|March 17-18||Sat 7:00 AM to Sun 1:00-3:00 PM||TBD|
|April 15th||2:00 - 5:00 PM (Doors open at 1PM)||
Vasa Park Resort & Ballroom
3560 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy S
Bellevue, WA 98008
View a map of all of our training locations, or get driving directions: [View Map].