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1. When and how often do you meet/train?

Twice monthly, January through October, and once monthly in November and December (due to the holidays). We meet/train on Wednesday evenings, and once a quarter on a Saturday.

2. How long do meetings/trainings last?

Our Wednesday meeting/trainings go from 6:30 PM to around 9:30 PM.
Saturday trainings are typically scheduled from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

3. Do you provide all training?

Yes, except for CPR, First Aid, First Responder, EMT, and Swift Water Rescue training.

Note: Our training is primarily geared towards the type of call-outs we get (see 5).

4. How many call-outs do you get yearly?

It varies between 15 to 30.

5. What are the typical incidents you are called for?

The three most common are:
1. Missing person searches.
2. Water rescues (swiftwater and open water)
3. Body recoveries.

Note: Be aware that most call-outs are late in the day/night and some in the weekends.

6. Do you provide members' uniforms and gear?

No. Members are required to purchase their own uniform and all personal S&R gear. Expect to pay around $300 in the first three months of membership, and a few hundred more within a year, depending on equipment you choose to purchase. More detailed info can be found in our Applicant Handbook.

7. Do you have searches and rescues in wilderness areas?

On occasion. As our name implies, our primary area of response is the City of San Jose. Generally, our call outs are in urban areas. There are some wilderness areas within the City including Alum Rock Park. Only when asked by other agencies or private parties, do we go outside San Jose, at times covering the country side and "wilderness" areas.

8. Besides responding to typical call-outs, do you get involved in other incidents and events?

We do provide support at planned events around the City of San Jose, such as the Turkey Trot.

9. Approximately how many hours does a member devote to the team all together?

We're glad you asked, as this is what true dedicated volunteering is all about! A specific number is hard to give, considering the frequency and number of call outs. We expect members to participate 50% or more in all meetings, training, events and call-outs. This means about 70 hours in a 'slow' year to maybe 100 hours in a 'busy' year. Members who fail to meet the "minimum 50%" requirement will be dismissed.

Note: Most members participate over-and-beyond the required minimum, which is always welcome.
We can always use extra help in areas of IT, Communications, Training, Logistics, Finance, Management, etc., so please let us know of any particular areas of interest you want to help with!

10. What are the requirements to join?

The minimum age is 21.
You must have a valid CA Drivers License, a clean driving record and no criminal history.
You must have attended at least three of our meeting/training sessions.
While eigibility for membership is not based on education, training, certifications, or experience beyond the minimum qualifications, SJSAR is always seeking applicants who have a combination of experience, knowledge, and skills that relate to emergency services.
Mostly we expect a willingness to commit yourself to our cause (see estimated time requirements above)!

11. How do I apply for membership?

The best question yet!

1. Download our Applicant Handbook and study it,
2. Download our Membership Application, fill it out, and submit it when you visit us. Include copies of any relevant certificates you have.
3. Visit us at least three times (see our CALENDAR or our Facebook Page for dates/place), and, last but not least,
4. Notify us at of your intention to visit, providing a phone number where you can be reached.

During and after these steps, a member of our Membership Committee will guide you through the process, which, after your third visit, includes an interview by the MC. Expect to undergo a background investigation which may include verification of identification, employment history, and criminal history Once accepted, you will be on probation for a minimum of six months of membership.

A NOTE ON ONGOING MEMBERSHIP: As a volunteer organization, SJSAR is sensitive to the demands on its member's time and budget. We do require a certain level of participation from everyone on the team in order to be successful. We operate equipment, machinery, vehicles, and boats - often in extreme conditions. To ensure that you perform your duties in a safe and professional manner we require that you meet ongoing field readiness requirements which include fitness, SAR related skills, personal equipment, uniform, attendance, and certifications.
Navigation Training 2004  

Download Membership Application

Download Applicant Handbook



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Navigation Training, Santa Cruz Mountains 2004