General Information
Nelson Search and Rescue is operated as a non-profit society with an elected board of directors which over see the day to day operation of the team with regards to budgeting, personnel, training, equipment purchase, member requests, and other related requirements.
Nelson Search and Rescue offers the following specialty teams in addition to Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR):

– Management, Logistics, and Communication Team
– Advanced Avalanche Response Team (AART)
– Swift Water Team (SRT)
– Rope Rescue Team
– Lake Rescue Boat Team

Membership in the Nelson Search and Rescue is very rewarding but requires dedication, and the commitment should be carefully considered.
Nelson Search and Rescue is proud of the service they provide to the local community as well as the level of training, expertise, and equipment that they can provide. Our members freely volunteer their time at many local events, providing first aid and other services.

NSAR in the Community
Nelson Search and Rescue Responds at the direction of Emergency Management BC. We provide our services to:

– Assist Police (NCPD and RCMP), BC Ambulance and the BC Coroner, as well as local Fire/Rescue Departments
– Assist Provincial, Municipal and Regional Government Agencies during local emergencies.
– Provide mutual aid to other SAR groups in the area and province as the need arises.
– Promote backcountry safety through Public Information.

Formal team training is currently conducted the first and third Wednesday evening of the month, with additional weekend training throughout the year. The weekend training usually involves a full training scenario for SAR managers, Team Leaders, and Team Members, and often include special teams lasting the full day. The evening practices are quite often short scenarios focusing on one aspect of training and can run from 18:00 to 22:00 hrs.

Members in training will be required to complete GSAR (ground search and rescue) training with in their first year of membership, and will then be brought on as full time members as the Training Officers and Directors see fit. During this probationary period these members are expected to attend all training activities provided. Upon completion of GSAR and acceptance to the team, these members will qualify to take all courses provided by the Provincial Emergency Program, as well as the ability to apply to NSAR to offset the cost of other SAR related external training.

Prospective and probationary members must show to the directors that their personal and professional lives will allow full participation in both training and real Search and Rescue operations. Operational tasks routinely require an immediate response and last 4-12 hours. Historical call volume is around 30 tasks per year.
Your ability to commit to the monthly general training can not be stressed enough. This training occurs the first and third Wednesday of the month, and provides the basis for all other training and involvement within NSAR.

You will require strong backcountry skills including basic rope skills, current first aid certificate, map and compass skills as well as the ability to travel safely and quickly as the tasks may require. You must be physically fit and be familiar with the local area and have adequate personal equipment that will allow you to operate effectively and safely for a 24 hour operational period. As well as these skills you must be able to work with and have the desire to commit to the team and this type of community service.

Application Procedure
Applications are received throughout the year with regular reviews carried out as members numbers require. Short listed candidates will be interviewed to confirm qualification, suitability and level of commitment. NSAR’s normal membership level is 40 to 45 members. New members will be brought on as members in training for a one year probationary period during which they will be called on to assist as their skill level fits and management team needs dictate.
All members are also required to have a RCMP background check.

The Nelson Search and Rescue Volunteer Application can be accessed via links on this page and should be submitted to our Membership Director at:

Application Form: Nelson SAR Application Form