Membership in King County ESAR is open to those who are age 14 and older, have a desire to help others in the out-of-doors, and are willing to respond to emergencies whenever possible. Basic training is held every year from September to February. Training sessions primarily take place at Camp Brinkley, north of Monroe, Washington.

King County ESAR members thrive by not only providing the outdoor community with search and rescue services, but also by giving back to the unit itself and its many training opportunities. We are a youth based organization, which means that we strive to support especially our younger members with training courses, social/experience outings, and experience in dealing with dynamic and potentially dangerous situations. The result of this experience is a confidence that allows our youth to act as leaders not only within our organization, but in the rest of their community as well.

Although the unit is largely focused on its younger members, there are also many adults within the organization. Some of these older members joined as teenagers and never found a reason to leave, others are back for more after going away to college, and others didn't even discover ESAR until well into their adult life. We always welcome people of all ages interested in being field volunteers, as well as those interested in helping in the following ways:

  • Communication Operator (requires amateur radio license)
  • Van Driver (must be 21 or over, pass a driver's course, and be approved by the Sheriff's department)

What we can offer you:

  • Extensive and demanding training in wilderness navigation, search procedures and wilderness survival, as well as basic first aid and CPR certification, helicopter training and crime scene preservation instruction.
  • Leadership opportunities including team, field and operations leader.
  • Advanced training in technical rope rescue, locating downed aircraft, search management, and Emergency Medical Technician certification.
  • Knowledge and skills to assist you later in life.
      While ESAR is not devoted to exploring a particular career like police and fire explorer groups, our members have gone on to become physicians, paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement officers, search and rescue coordinators, park service climbing rangers and special operations soldiers - as well as many other non-emergency service careers.

What we ask of prospective members:

  • To have a desire to help others in need while out-of-doors in all kinds of weather and terrain.
  • Dedication to our extensive training program.
  • Willingness to respond to missions whenever possible. Search and rescue missions rarely occur at convenient times, the weather is often poor and oftentimes, the terrain is very rough. However, the need for responders is always real and immediate.
  • The maturity to positively represent King County ESAR and the King County Sheriff's Office at all times.

The kind of work we do:

King County contains some of the most varied terrain in the United States: Our operations can take place just a few feet above sea level on the streets of Seattle, on the 7-8000 foot peaks of the remote Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, and everywhere in between. Our most common missions include:

  • Trail rescues or "carryouts" of injured hikers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Wilderness searches on both trails and in cross-country terrain for missing persons.
  • "In-town" searches for missing Alzheimer's patients, children and others.
  • Evidence searches at crime scenes. ESAR has played a large part in recovering evidence from both the Ted Bundy and Green River killings - two of the largest serial cases in the nation.
  • Out of county missions to assist other Washington counties with both searches and rescues.

The Orientation A packet, available below, gives an overview of all the required courses and equipment for King County ESAR basic training. The recruiting video, also available below, gives an overview of our training program and the variety of services we offer to our community.

Training Documents

A packet that is handed out at Orientation A gives new members a good idea of what is required and what to expect from our training program. It can be downloaded from the training page.

The ESAR Video

Download our recruiting video.

  • 15MB RealVideo

Training Schedule

This year's training schedule can be found on this page.

© KCESAR • PO Box 1266 • North Bend, WA 98045