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­How to become a member of Navajo County Search and Rescue

In a nutshell:

You must live in Arizona, be at least 18 years old, be in reasonable health, and not convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor crime involving moral turpitude. If you meet these requirements you then fill out an application. Members of our Board of Directors will interview you at a meeting or training to see if you are a good fit for the organization. Finally, the Sheriff’s Office reviews the application, runs a background and fingerprint check. When you successfully complete these items, you become a probationary member of NCSAR.

Being a member of an active search and rescue unit requires a time commitment. Some people think we just wait around until someone gets lost. Not so. We train once a month as well as have monthly meetings. Both are required of every member. You will not be expected to attend every training and every meeting, but poor attendance can lead to dismissal. When we train, we learn to work together as a team. There are no heroes in Search and Rescue – but there are heroic teams. Actual searches have been described as “organized chaos,” with emphasis on “chaos.” We work and train hard to overcome that tendency so that we are efficient and effective when it counts the most. It is in training that you learn to trust the experience and capabilities of others, and where you are able to increase your own abilities.

You will also be asked to help us fundraise. Few people enjoy sitting a booth and selling raffle tickets or participating in events that have little to do with our mission. But, raising money and awareness is something we have to do. We are better equipped and better prepared when we have money to work with. We also collect dues from each member, but they don’t begin to cover our expenses.

Search and rescue requires time and hard work, but it is also very rewarding. Certainly this is true when you find a lost person or bring closure to a family. But, undoubtedly, you will also form strong bonds with other people on the team. Giving it all you’ve got to find a missing person brings a camaraderie that is hard to beat.

We hope you’ll join our team and make us better than ever!

The Board and Officers of NCSAR