Join

UVWRT is not accepting applications for membership at this time.

If you would like to be considered for a future training cycle, please read this page and click on the link to the Interested in Joining form at the bottom.

Joining UVWRT is a major commitment. You will need to discuss this commitment with your family, friends and employer (or advisers/professors) because responding to callouts will involve making difficult choices in terms of personal priorities. We have had many enthusiastic trainees join only to realize that they do not have the flexibility to remain an active member of the team.

Joining UVWRT is also a financial commitment. Annual team dues are $25 and we use the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR) handbook, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, as our training manual. It costs about $38 and is available new or used from a variety of sources. UVWRT provides no reimbursement of any kind for clothing, gear, electronics or mileage. We drive a lot and fuel adds up. If you work, you may end up taking vacation days, and that adds up. Purchasing a GPS (optional but highly recommended) is expensive, and that adds up. We have some team gear that you can borrow for trainings, but be prepared for some significant purchases and accumulating costs.

Lastly, searches are never convenient. We get called out at all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather on any given day of the year. To be an active team member, you must be able to drop what you’re doing, rearrange your schedule at the last minute and be prepared to put off what you were going to do in the next few hours (or days!) in order to respond. The unpredictability and disruption is the most difficult part of volunteer search and rescue operations.

To join you must:

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • complete the application form and liability waiver;
  • pay initial annual dues of $25; and
  • attend New Member Orientation/Introduction to SAR.

To maintain membership you must:

  • successfully complete all training requirements;
  • acquire and maintain a suitable 24 hour ready pack;
  • abide by the UVWRT Constitution and Standard Operating Procedures;
  • maintain a professional attitude and level of dedication;
  • contribute annual team dues of $25;
  • complete the annual fitness hike (Demonstrate the ability to carry a 20 pound pack 4 miles over 2,000 vertical feet of elevation in under 2.5 hours.); and
  • (most importantly) commit to regularly respond to callouts! (Our goal is to have members respond to at least 33% of all callouts each year – one out of every three – to demonstrate an adequate level of dedication.)

Here are some informative resources to help you decide if SAR is for you.
Forest Journal: The call of the wilderness rescuers
Want to help with the search you see on the news? Please Read This First!

Final acceptance is always at the discretion of the UVWRT officers, regardless of qualifications, and membership applications may be denied or put on hold to maintain a manageable team size.

UVWRT generally conducts training sessions for new members from January through May with the goal of having new members trained and ready to go before Memorial Day. Training sessions are held evenings and Saturdays with a full SAR training weekend in April or May. If there is enough interest, an additional training cycle may be held over the summer to get additional new members ready for the fall hiking season.

If you would like to join, please complete the Interested in Joining form and we will contact you when a future training cycle opens.