How to Join a Search and Rescue Team

Ever wondered what it takes to become part of a Search And Rescue (SAR) team?

First off, we are all volunteers. This means we don’t get paid for what we do, we do it all for the passion of helping our community and saving lives of people in need. Whether you’re a capable outdoorsman that is at home tromping through the brush, a dog handler with a high-drive dog, a tech savvy Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) enthusiast, or more of a people-person that prefers to manage an overall operation, there are positions available for anyone interested.

How to join a search and rescue team in the Greater Houston area:

  • Check out our calendar to find an upcoming training or event to attend.
  • Send us an email ( to let us know you are interested in coming out.
  • Show up prepared for the outdoors; wear long pants, waterproof boots if you have them, and bring water.
  • Observe, follow along, join in, and ask questions along the way.
  • Request an application to join the team.
  • If you have a dog you’re interested in training, we ask you come out to 2 trainings without the dog first.
Hundreds of hours spent training may sound like a lot, but not when you think of the hours that will be given back to the one who’s life you save.

As a team, we do not have a set attendance requirement but we do have Task Books that we use to track each individual’s training. These book outline basic skills that each searcher should have and all skills can be taught during training, so no prior experience is needed. Some skills expire quarterly, and some yearly. As skills expire, you will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in the task at a training session to maintain the qualification and therefore maintain your mission deployable status.

How to join a search and rescue team with a canine:

SAR Canine Merlin Searching an Area in Training

If you are interested in training a dog, please check out our canine page to learn more about the dogs we train and what requirements we have on the dogs. Again, we ask that you come out to a few trainings without your dog and schedule a dog evaluation with us prior to bringing them out. This gives you the ability to see what we do and if it will be a good fit for you and your dog prior to requesting the evaluation.


Questions about How to Join a Search and Rescue Team?

Be sure to check out our frequently asked questions page for more information and answers to some of the common questions we get about joining. If you don’t find your answer, be sure to contact us!

Search and Rescue Bloodhound Trailing a Missing Person in Training

Not in the Greater Houston Area, but want to Join a Search and Rescue Team?

Check out the National Association for Search and Rescue‘s website for classes and trainings in your area. You can also search their website for instructors nearby you that you can connect with their local teams. To join a search and rescue team you just have to want to make a difference and be active to go out and find a nationally certified search and rescue team with a good reputation.