Different Membership Classifications available to members of the West Valley Search and Rescue Team
West Valley SAR has three general classifications available to its members:
Field members are those individuals who have successfully completed the required training to be deployed into the field in various capacities. They are highly skilled in many disciplines of search and rescue and are required to commit an appropriate amount of time for training and missions. These members may be hiking or climbing in challenging environments, providing medical care in the field or supporting command post operations during the course of a mission. Additionally, Field Members are expected to assist with team administrative activities as outlined below for Administrative Members.
Support members assist the team primarily with command post operations. These duties include mapping, transportation, radio communications, mission documentation, manage the staging of equipment and personnel, and many other responsibilities. Like Field Members, Support personnel assist with all the business aspects of the team. Support Members have a significant amount of training required, but less than that of a Field Member.
Support Members provide an essential role in command post operations for every mission. Some of the things you will be learning and doing include:
- How to be a command post radio operator. Relaying communications from the Command Post to the teams in the field and the Sheriff’s Department helicopters while keeping a log of all radio traffic.
- How to read and understand a topographical map and plot coordinates of teams in the field, as well as all clues and evidence found.
- Driving the Sheriff’s 4 wheel drive vehicles to bring teams into and out of the field.
- You may be assigned as a trail block at a trailhead. This is done so we don’t miss a lost person walking out on their own and driving away unnoticed.
- How to set up the portable radio repeater. You may be asked to drive to certain strategic locations to act as a radio relay. to facilitate communications between the Command Post and teams in the mountains.
- Become familiar with what is needed to assist with the Initial Action Plan(IAP).
- You may be assigned to be a staging manager to keep track of resources and personnel as they arrive on scene.
After completion of your initial training you will be fully integrated and a vital part of our search and rescue team, Support members will participate on special committees: such as P.R, Fund Raising, or our Hug-a-Tree and Survive safety education program for kids.
Associate members will not be deployed into the field for any assignments. These members help the team with fundraising, public relations, vehicle and equipment upkeep and other business functions. Compared to Field and Support Members, Associate Members have reduced training requirements.