Fernie Search and Rescue

Application for membership

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Are you interested in joining Fernie Search & Rescue?

Do you think this may be the type of organization you can commit to?  Following are some considerations that may help you decide if Fernie SAR is right for you:

  • We are a volunteer organization
    That means there is no payment for what you do. Your commitment to Fernie SAR will involve some out of pocket expenses for required equipment, some training, meetings, community awareness events, fundraisers and tasks.

  • We are professionals
    Fernie SAR members are of high moral character and are held to high standards of professionalism and service. We are under the jurisdiction of the Emergency Management of BC and work closely with other emergency service, law enforcement, and land management agencies. No member can use any alcohol or mind altering drugs (whether prescription or recreational) while on official tasks, training or meetings. We are in the public eye and maintain an excellent reputation.

  • We are a Team
    Fernie SAR is not the place for individual egotism or weekend heroes. We operate as a team at all times. A subject's survival and the safety of other team members may very well depend on a unified effort. If you do not work well in groups, you should not join Fernie SAR.

  • We do not work for fame or recognition
    There is rarely any glory associated with tasks and even rescued people may not acknowledge the group's efforts. A member's main reward is often just the satisfaction of having practiced his or her own skills and having participated in an effort to help someone. Your commitment should be to finding and aiding those in need rather than for the recognition it may give you in the eyes of your family, friends or the public.

  • We know our limitations
    Some people who wish to join Fernie SAR are young and macho and think they are capable of making wise judgments and overcoming any and all physical challenges in the field. There are also those people who remember younger times when they were in prime physical condition and, despite evidence to the contrary, believe they are still in shape. However, both bravado and nostalgia can be dangerous or even fatal if you are not in the proper condition for a strenuous field task. Fernie SAR members must realistically assess their level of fitness and adjust their participation accordingly. There is just as much work in supporting a field team (maps, radio communications, logistics, etc.) as there is for those out in the field, so know what your capabilities are and capitalize on your strengths.

  • We deal realistically with unpleasant situations
    It is important that Fernie SAR members understand that they may be dealing with all facets of rescue and recovery.  This includes dealing with some pretty unpleasant situations. You need to assess whether you are mentally and emotionally prepared to do so. Know your limitations in all areas and be realistic and honest about them.

  • We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Call outs quite often come in the middle of the night and on weekends, when people are most likely to be declared lost or injured. They are also common in foul weather. Fernie SAR is not a fair weather organization; we volunteer to go on tasks in the most adverse conditions and at the most inopportune times because we know someone's life may depend on that level of commitment.

  • We are committed to our goals, in spite of difficult circumstances
    Being a Fernie SAR member is not always fun and exciting. We may go for months without a call out, or get called out only to arrive in time to see the subject walk out on their own or through someone else's help. This can be frustrating. We also hold meetings and training the first Wednesday night of every month. Although this may seem boring or mundane, it becomes very apparent how important this training is when you need to put those skills to use during a task. In addition, Fernie SAR is composed of many individuals, each with unique and often conflicting personality traits, and the challenge is to keep the groups goals in mind and not get sidetracked with petty differences. Your ability to work under various difficult circumstances is directly proportional to your level of commitment.

  • We are responsible for ourselves
    We must be responsible for our own actions and safety. We take individual responsibility for our own well-being and look out for our fellow members as well. However, we do not blame anyone else if our lack of physical or mental capabilities results in any personal injury or loss.

WE ARE COMMITTED

If you have read and understand all of the above and still think that you would like to join Fernie SAR, then you're the type of person we're looking for.

Successful candidates will become a Member in Training (MIT).  After attending three training sessions, you will be added to the call out list and included on call outs, where appropriate for your level of training.  We view tasks as on the job training and invaluable experience on the path to becoming a full volunteer.  As a MIT you will be trained in all the basics of search and rescue in British Columbia and once you have covered all the Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) material (80 hour course) you will be considered for the GSAR exam.

Once you have successfully completed the GSAR exam your status will be changed to SAR volunteer.  To stay as an active volunteer you are expected to attend at least six Fernie Search and Rescue general training sessions a year which are held in the evening of the first Wednesday of every month.  If you fail to meet this requirement your status is eligible to be reviewed.

Please complete the form below after which you will be contacted regarding the status of your application.  Potential candidates will be required to take part in an interview with a member of the Fernie SAR Leadership Team to confirm qualifications, suitability and level of commitment.

This web site has been created by and is provided by VolunteerRescue of SKRPC Holdings Inc., Fernie, BC, Canada.