“Community Above Self”
The process for joining our group is different depending on whether you have previous SAR training/certification. If you are already GSAR-trained (Justice Institute certification program), we still need you to fill out some basic forms (CowSAR application, current driver’s abstract and criminal record check) initially, and meet with the vice-president and/or other board members.
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.
Below is some additional information.
Cowichan SAR trains basic Ground SAR skills twice a month September to June, 2-2.5 hours on the first Tuesday evening of each month, and 5-8 hours on a weekend day later in the month.
Members are asked to attend 60% of basic GSAR training hours (60 hrs of total 100 training hrs per year). Specialty teams (rope rescue, tracking, first aid, swiftwater rescue) are voluntary membership and train additional hours on a regular (often weekly) basis; additionally members must take part in a duty rotation for hall/vehicle/gear maintenance (once per year); help out with occasional PR/fundraising events; and are eligible for election to the Society board which meets once per month (sub-committees meet separately).
To become a GSAR volunteer in BC, volunteers are required to take a certification course offered by the Justice Institute of BC, administered in-house by qualified JI instructors. The course typically runs 80-90 hours in total, and involves a mix of classroom and field instruction/evaluation.
To join Cowichan SAR, interested individuals are required to submit a current criminal record check, a current driver’s abstract, and a completed application form. Once that paperwork is submitted and reviewed, individuals may be asked to interview with two or more current members/society directors.
Once certified and active, members are on call around the clock; however, there is no requirement to respond. Members respond according to their availability/work schedules/work flexibility etc. If not available to initially respond, members may become available for a second operational period, or to help with demobilization/cleanup once the task is complete or stood down.
For anyone interested in Joining Cowichan Search & Rescue, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org