GENERAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
Involvement in any type of volunteer SAR program is a commitment that should not be entered into with out deep consideration.Â The sacrifices associated with searching are often more than most individuals are willing and in some cases able to muster.
Unlike many community volunteer efforts, the SAR program at times experiences a high dropout rate.Â This is often due to not knowing what to expect when joining a unit. There is nothing more frustrating than to invest time and money into an activity only to later learn that it just is not what you expected or are interested in.Â In an effort to lessen these types of issues, we suggest discussing the program with several team members, your family and employer before making a commitment.
Calls may come for assistance at the least convenient time. Many searches may start in the middle of the night during the worst Washington weather.Â Frequently you may be making decisions of missing personal and family commitments.Â Most of the requests for our assistance come from outside Grays Harbor County.
The only way for you and your dog to become knowledgeable and effective is to train, train, and train. As you can see, this is a labor and time intensive commitment.Â There is also a fair amount of financial responsibility.Â The committed individuals we are seeking will need to have no fear of the rain, mud, darkness or the deep woods.Â Â
Your attitude concerning the law and the people who enforce it must be of the highest respect.Â
Membership is open to any person 21Â Â years or older who resides with-in Grays Harbor County (permanent address (no P.O boxes),passes aÂ Grays HarborÂ Sheriff’s back ground check (no criminal back ground) and receives a State Emergency worker card and has the ability and willingness to acquire gear, complete all training and participate in missions.Â Abuse of narcotics or controlled substances, addiction to intoxicants, conviction of DUI, a poor driver’s record may cause your application to be disqualified.
Note:Â Â To be a working member of WCSD you do not have to own or train a dog.Â Â Good support members are very much as important as the handler and his dog.Â (2013)-Currently we are not accepting applications for support personnel)
A probationary period lasts for 90 days.Â Â During this time the applicant will be expected to complete Five (5) home study classes, (see below), receive a Washington State Emergency Worker Card,Â Â attend two unit meetings and two scheduled trainings.
Â 1.Â Incident Command System (IS-100b) (on-line)
Â 2.Â National Incident Management System (IS-700a) (on-line)
Â 3.Â Â Tracking and Track LayingÂ
Â 4.Â Â Theory of ScentÂ
Â 5.Â Â Scent DiscriminationÂ Â
WCSD follows the Washington Search and Rescue Emergency Worker Core Competency Training Criteria.Â The criteria establishes a standardized set of core competencies for Ground/Land SAR volunteers in Washington state.
The individual must complete the following requirements before being considered for Field assignments.
1.Â Classroom training and a written test in:Â Legal Issues, Crime Scene Identification & Management, Search Organization & Management and Helicopter Safety.
2.Â Classroom training, Written Test and performance evaluation in:Â Radio Communications
3.Â Classroom training, a written test, Field training and Performance Evaluation in:Â Survival Skills & Equipment, Land Navigation, GPS Operation, Search Techniques, Subject & Searcher First Aid, Rescue Techniques and Searcher Safety.
4.Â Possess a Basic First Aid, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens Card.Â
The above may require up to a year or more to fulfill depending on the availability of classes.Â Â We stress thatÂ you must be trained thoroughly as a ground searcher along with developing skills as a dog handler.Â Unit membership does not guarantee a “field” assignment.