How To Become A Search And Rescue Volunteer
A search and rescue volunteer is usually deployed to find and save you once you somehow get stuck in the wild. These are an elite force of individuals that are highly-trained on search and rescue operations.
Most governments now depend on volunteers for most of the search and rescue operations within their country. This is why many people are now encouraged to become a search and rescue volunteer. It’s really not that hard to become one and, also, you can benefit from it a lot especially if you love to go outdoors.
Additionally, search and rescue volunteers are not only tasked for finding and rescuing stranded people. They are also trained for recovering bodies, finding evidence, and responding to different kinds of natural disasters. If you decide to become a volunteer, you’ll know everything about these things.
Choose A Specialty
Search and rescue is a big, big task. It involves multiple operations that require a certain kind of specialties. If you want to become a volunteer, you need to choose which specialty you want or is more suited for you. The easiest specialty that most volunteers choose is the simple search and rescue for injured hikers or backpackers. You are always free to choose which specialty you want to work on as a volunteer. You can volunteer to become a search and rescue diver, a helicopter pilot, or a driver, among others.
Be Physically Fit
Even though everyone is free to become a volunteer, one of the main requirements of becoming one is to be physically fit. Anyone can be a volunteer as long as they are physically fit. Your rescue team leaders and coordinators will not send you into operations if you are so overweight.
Keep in mind that the purpose of search and rescue is to go help others and not getting yourself hurt. If you think that you’re overweight, best get your body in shape first before you apply as a volunteer.
You won’t become a search and rescue volunteer if you don’t get certified. To become a volunteer you need to undergo special training and assessments. Once you completed them all, you’ll be given a certificate of completion which makes you a certified volunteer.
There are different kinds of certifications you can get, it depends on which specialty you’d like to focus on. You can enroll in classes for diving, wilderness survival, first aid, or navigation, among others.
Join A Group
Search and rescue volunteers are usually divided into different groups. There are so many volunteer groups that you can join out there. Unfortunately, since these groups operate independently, it can be sometimes hard to find and join them.
To look for a local volunteer group, start browsing the web for any search and rescue volunteers near you. If you find one, contact him and ask him if there’s a group you can join. You can also go to the local police station and ask about any volunteer groups that are working with them.
Just because you already got your certifications and is now a member of a search and rescue group, it doesn’t mean that you’ll always be a qualified volunteer. There are various search and rescue training sessions and seminars that you must attend, in order to stay qualified. There are also strict regulations that you have to abide so you don’t get kicked out from the group. You’ll also need to renew your certifications and licenses annually.
It’s not that hard to become a search and rescue volunteer just as long as you attend training sessions and seminars, stay in shape all the time, and you renew your licenses and certifications on a regular basis. Helping others during an emergency is a delight and if you want to become a volunteer, just follow the tips above.