Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue Team (NFSAR).  Our team is composed of dedicated men and women committed to providing Western NY and surrounding areas with an organization of trained rural and backcountry land search and rescue volunteers.  Our objective and purpose are to:

  • Provide trained wilderness search and rescue personnel for lost person incidents;
  • Assist with technical rural or backcountry rescue and evacuation of injured or lost individuals from rough terrain or hazardous backcountry environments if requested;
  • Develop specially trained personnel to respond to K-9, Technical Rope and Winter/Cold Weather search and rescue operations;
  • Disseminate information and conduct training programs for NFSAR team members and others concerning outdoor safety and search and rescue operations;
  • Associate with similar organizations in Western New York and the State of New York for the furtherance of the objectives of the Organization.

Similar to other volunteer organizations, members bear the cost of equipment, uniforms, and travel, as well as volunteer their time for meetings, training events and responding to team activations.  While this is a volunteer organization, attendance and participation in training events and searches are very important.  Once you have completed the Basic SAR Academy, you will be expected to meet specific baseline membership requirements, including:

  • Attendance at no less than two (2) quarterly organizational meetings;
  • Attendance at no less than four (4) monthly team training events;
  • Being capable of meeting and maintaining the minimum NFSAR physical fitness readiness standard consisting of successfully hiking 2 miles on level terrain with a 25lb pack in 30 minutes or less (U.S. Forest Service Wildland Firefighter Work Capacity Test – Moderate);
  • Remaining current with their required certifications; and
  • Providing your response status for all team activation alerts.

To apply for membership, you must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and a citizen of the United States.  For your application to be considered by the Membership Committee, you will need to pay a $20 application fee and provide copies of the following certifications when requested:

  • Proof of current Basic CPR certification
  • Proof of current (minimum standard) Basic First Aid certification
  • A certificate demonstrating completion of the free online FEMA training course ICS-100 (Introduction to Incident Command System)
  • A certificate demonstrating completion of the free online FEMA training course ICS-700 (National Incident Management System – An Introduction)

For future reference, our process for screening, processing and accepting new members is as follow:

The minimum age for applying to the team is 21 years old.

We accept new member applications (when determined necessary by the Membership Committee in June of each year) from July 15 to September 30.  We typically conduct screening interviews with all candidates during that time-frame in preparation for the general team members to vote on the prospective new members at the December team organizational meeting.  The recruiting and open membership process may not occur every year due to year-to-year variations in the number of openings that exist as a result of individuals who elect to leave the team.

The first step in the process (if team membership recruiting is open) is to express your interest in applying for membership to NFSAR by contacting us at around anytime after July 15th.  Once you begin this application process, you will be invited to attend one of a number of mandatory team information and orientation meetings which are held in August and September.  Member application forms are only provided to individuals who attend one of these meetings.

NFSAR then conducts screening interviews to evaluate applicants on a number of criteria.  If an applicant is approved by the Membership Committee after the screening interview, they will be given a tentative slot in the Academy and will be voted on by the full team membership.  Once approved by the general membership, they will begin our basic search and rescue training (SAR Academy) program in January.

Class size is limited, so we are not in a position to accept all applicants into the program.

Membership in Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue shall be based solely by an individual’s competence, ability, and desire to perform their duties.  Such membership shall not be limited nor withheld on the basis of gender, race, national origin, religious or political beliefs, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

Thank you for your interest in Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue.