Required Training

The chief law enforcement officer of each political subdivision shall be responsible for local search and rescue activities. Operation of search and rescue activities shall be in accordance with state and local operations plans adopted by the elected governing body of each local political subdivision (RCW 38.52). This is normally the county sheriff.

Washington Administrative Code defines the training requirements for SAR volunteers. The King County Sheriffs Office (KCSO) is responsible for implementing a training program for SAR volunteers. KCSARA has been delegated the work of creating a program for KCSOs approval.

The Washington State SAR Coordinators Association (WSSARCA) delegated to the SAR Volunteer Advisory Council (SARVAC) to identify and characterize the basic SAR volunteer training requirements. The current requirements were ratified by WSSARCA in 2011, targeted for complete implementation by January 1st, 2015. KCSARA is tasked to create program activities which satisfy the SAR volunteer requirements as defined by SARVAC and approved by KCSO.

Approved unit training, many third-party offerings, and even some mission time, satisfy most of these requirements. For more specific information, see the core competency fulfillment plan, approved by KCSO.

WA SAR Volunteer Training Requirements

Everyone with a direct role in emergency and incident management and response, including volunteers, must take NIMS and ICS training. The amount of training depends on the person's position level in response operation.

These requirements are codified in Washington Administrative Code 118.04 and described in the Core Competencies v80 document available on the SARVAC website. The exact content, length, and refresher cycle has been interpreted through an agreement of King County Sheriff's Office.

Last updated on July 8, 2017