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Search and Rescue Alberta is committed to safety and professionalism. All teams and members are required to:

  • Meet the CSA Z1620, core competency standards for ground search and rescue operations: Searcher, team leader, and SAR manager for Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in Canada.
  • Pass a criminal record check with vulnerable sector check.
  • Hold valid standard first aid.
  • Have valid workers compensation and liability coverage provided by their team.


All operational volunteers are required to attend search and rescue basic (SAR Basics) training to receive their Searcher Certification. SAR Basics typically takes place over 3 weekends for 60+ hours. Basic training is provided by member teams and will include (but not be limited to,) the following areas:

  • Map, compass & GPS navigation
  • Introduction to tracking
  • Basic casualty treatment & transport
  • Search types & tactics
  • Evidence handling
  • 24-hour survival
  • Radio procedure
  • Introduction to Incident command systems
  • Essential fire lighting methods
  • Back-country shelter construction
  • Hazards and risk management

Training commitments for maintaining competency will vary from team to team and are somewhat dependent on the area of specialization. Most teams conduct general training twice a month – primarily on evenings and weekends, but many of the more specialized teams will train weekly.

Interested in joining? Check out the Become a SAR Responder page or for team specific information, please contact your local team. Contact information can be found in the Area of Operations map.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Search and Rescue Alberta is a part of the Alberta Critical Incident Peer Support network to provide free and anonymous peer support, post incident debriefing and resiliency resources to volunteers who have experienced a traumatic event during a mission.

Any SAR member or family member of a SAR volunteer can activate the CISM program by calling 1-800-663-3456.