King County, WA

Est. 1954

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Training Resources

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, 2020.

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 2019 through April 2020.

Training Fee: $165.00 (Due at Course B)
The training fee is a one-time payment and covers all required training to become an ESAR member.

First Aid Certification:
You must independently obtain and submit your First Aid/CPR/AED certification, valid through April 1st, 2020, with your application. 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:

If obtaining a First Aid/CPR/AED certification will pose a financial hardship, please contact training.admin@kcesar.org.

Basic Training Application:

  1. Make sure you have a digital copy (pdf or image) of your First Aid/CPR/AED Certification ready to upload.
  2. Complete and submit a Basic Training Application.
  3. Wait for your application to be reviewed (this may take several weeks, we're all volunteers, thank you for your patience.)
  4. Once your application has been reviewed and accepted you will receive information about how to register for Course A.

  • The registration process for subsequent courses will be reviewed during Course A.
  • If you are unable to submit an application via the link provided, please contact training.admin@kcesar.org.

Returning Trainees:
If you started training last year and are returning this year, please:

  • Contact the training director: training@kcesar.org
  • Resubmit both the ESAR and King County application forms.

Course A: Orientation
REQUIRED:
    While attending Course A you will complete and submit a King County Emergency Worker Application and Background Check Form.
  • Bring a legible photocopy of your current photo ID (Drivers License, Passport, or student ID)
  • Bring a legible photocopy of your proof of current auto insurance if you drive. If minor, bring photocopy of parent's or legal guardian's auto insurance.
DateTimeLocation
August 13th7:00pm - 9:00pmKing County Search & Rescue Headquarters
August 15th7:00pm - 9:00pmBelleuve - TBD
August 20th7:00pm - 9:00pmBelleuve - TBD
August 21st7:00pm - 9:00pmSeattle - TBD
August 24th9:00am - 11:00amKing County Search & Rescue Headquarters
August 24th12:00pm - 2:00pmKing County Search & Rescue Headquarters
September 10th7:00pm - 9:00pmSammamish YMCA
September 14th9:00am - 11:00amSammamish YMCA
Course B: Map and Compass

Prerequisite: Course A

Course Fee Due:

The training fee is $165.00 and is due when you sign in at Course B. PayPal is the preferred payment method, we can accept check or cash if needed, but we cannot make change.

Do not make a course fee payment until you have successfully registered for Course B.
  • (Preferred) Please use the PayPal link below and bring proof of payment to Course B.

  • If you are paying with Check or Cash, it will be collected when you sign in at Course B.

Badge Photo:

Be prepared to have your badge photo taken at the beginning of Course B. We use this photo throughout training so we can put names to faces. This photo will also be used on your DEM identification card after you graduate.

DateTimeLocation
September 7th9:00am - 6:00pmEastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters
September 21st9:00am - 6:00pmEastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters
October 12th9:00am - 6:00pmEastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters
October 26th9:00am - 6:00pmEastside Fire and Rescue Headquarters
Course C: Search Theory and Field Practice
Prerequisite: Course B
DateTimeLocation
October 19-20Sat 6:30am to Sun 4:00pmCamp Edward
November 2-3Sat 6:30am to Sun 4:00pmCamp Edward
November 23-24Sat 6:30am to Sun 4:00pmCamp Edward
December 7-8Sat 6:30am to Sun 4:00pmCamp Edward
Introduction to Searcher First Aid
Prerequisite: Course B
DateTimeLocation
November 16th8:00am - 5:00pmTBD
December 15th8:00am - 5:00pmTBD
January 12th8:00am - 5:00pmTBD
February 8th8:00am - 5:00pmTBD
Course I: Navigation Practice
Prerequisite: Course C
DateTimeLocation
November 23-24Sat 6:20am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
December 7-8Sat 6:20am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
January 4-5Sat 6:20am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
January 18-19Sat 6:20am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
Course II: Navigation Evaluation
Prerequisite: Course I
DateTimeLocation
January 4-5Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
January 18-19Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
February 1-2Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
February 15-16Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmCamp Edward
Searcher First Aid
Prerequisite: Course II & Introduction to Searcher First Aid
DateTimeLocation
February 9th
9:00am - 6:00pmTBD
February 22nd
9:00am - 6:00pmTBD
February 23rd
9:00am - 6:00pmTBD
March 7th9:00am - 6:00pmTBD
Course III: Mock Search
Prerequisite: Searcher First Aid
DateTimeLocation
February 29-March 1
Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmTBD
March 14-15Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmTBD
March 28-29Sat 7:00am to Sun 3:00pmTBD
Operations Orientation
Dates and Locations TBD
Graduation
DateTimeLocation
April 5th 2:00 - 5:00pm (Doors open at 1pm)
Vasa Park Resort & Ballroom
3560 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy S
Bellevue, WA 98008

Map

Training Locations


King County Explorer Search & Rescue (ESAR) is a 501(c)(3) Volunteer Organization.

Our members respond to over 150 emergencies every year.

ESAR is King County's primary wilderness ground search and rescue organization. Our members are outdoor enthusiasts with a passion for helping those in need. 100% of funding for training, operations, and critical, life-saving equipment comes from generous donations by local businesses, the communities that we serve, our volunteers, and people like you.