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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I have been tying to get some more info on having a career in search and rescue. if anyone could give me ant info on how to start a career in this field I would love to hear what you have to say! Also any info on becoming a guide what be great as well!!
Thanks!!
 

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Start taking EMS related classes at a local school. Volunteer with a local fire dept and volunteer with a SAR group around you. You'll start off as a low-level person doing trash duty or paperwork then work into your specialty which can be all sorts of things besides the standard guy going out to find people. They have to get to know you, know your current and coming skills, etc before you can do anything direct with SAR duty. Even if you have HAM experience, it'll help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much!! I have been thinking about going into the military because it would pay for college. do you have to have a college degree to volunteer as a fire fighter? Also would the fire dept. pay for the EMS classes?
 

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First, I'm not a SAR guy, I just did a lot of research about it when I was younger, and knew people.

You typically do not need to have a degree to volunteer for any of the groups I listed. Volunteer Firefighters do get training for all sorts of things, so it's good to get into if it interests you. Volunteer EMS gets training as well and most FD's will cross train you for both.

As for the military to help pay for college, they do, but remember, contrary to what the world wants you to believe, you do not need a degree to make a decent living. I don't have a degree and make about 2.5x what my wife does with her degree. Not trying to talk you into/out of the military or college, but do your research on all fronts.
 

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Look for a volunteer SAR group in your region.

Free training, credentials, qualifications, then look into career opportunities with the Feds (maybe Forestry?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well thanks for all the info!!! I will have to talk to my uncle he volunteers as a firefighter and I believe he is an EMT. And Believe me I would much rather go out and work hard then be stuck in a class room all day! and I will for sure look into other options!! once again thanks!
 

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Don't count on making a living as a SAR guy. They are mostly volunteer organizations with lots of training time and very little actual work. I highly recommend it, but you have to do it for the right reasons...money not being one of them.

As stated, try to get in with your local fire department and work from there. A lot of the training overlaps and you'll interface with SAR teams. Plus you actually have a (small) chance at making (a little) $$$ in the fire service.
 

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Well thanks for all the info!!! I will have to talk to my uncle he volunteers as a firefighter and I believe he is an EMT. And Believe me I would much rather go out and work hard then be stuck in a class room all day! and I will for sure look into other options!! once again thanks!
Just remember to become an EMT at any level you will be going to classes. To be certified as an EMT, whether basic, intermediate or Paramedic you will need the schooling and pass tests.
 

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Thank you so much!! I have been thinking about going into the military because it would pay for college. do you have to have a college degree to volunteer as a fire fighter? Also would the fire dept. pay for the EMS classes?
Get your EMT basic at your nearest community collage, you can try for a pel grant if they still exist. You will get some hands on while you learn while you are doing your clinical's, and your instructor can point you in the direction you are wanting to go.
 

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I did some volunteering, though we've not been called up much. Would be nice if a guy could make a middle-class living at it, since it would be more rewarding than slowly turning into a zombie in an 8x8 windowless office cubicle.

This is beyond my expertise, but maybe there's a genuine opening for people who train dogs. If you're expert at training (and breeding?) SAR + K-9 dogs, you can probably make that pay reasonable money. How you break into that, I don't know.

Don't count on making a living as a SAR guy. They are mostly volunteer organizations with lots of training time and very little actual work. I highly recommend it, but you have to do it for the right reasons...money not being one of them.

As stated, try to get in with your local fire department and work from there. A lot of the training overlaps and you'll interface with SAR teams. Plus you actually have a (small) chance at making (a little) $$$ in the fire service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Get your EMT basic at your nearest community collage, you can try for a pel grant if they still exist. You will get some hands on while you learn while you are doing your clinical's, and your instructor can point you in the direction you are wanting to go.
I would most likely take EMT classes at the closest community college! I have always had thoughts about taking some EMT classes! but the idea of being outdoors for a career just sounds amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did some volunteering, though we've not been called up much. Would be nice if a guy could make a middle-class living at it, since it would be more rewarding than slowly turning into a zombie in an 8x8 windowless office cubicle.

This is beyond my expertise, but maybe there's a genuine opening for people who train dogs. If you're expert at training (and breeding?) SAR + K-9 dogs, you can probably make that pay reasonable money. How you break into that, I don't know.
My family used to train K-9 dogs and I have actually been giving this some thinking but yes you are right I would have to find the right opening!
 

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You'd probably have to make the opening yourself. Probably spend a year or two volunteering somewhere part-time to learn the ropes, then write up a business plan, get some seed money, acreage, buildings and the appropriate licenses. I've met some SAR dog people, and even they are pretty much all volunteer. So my guess is that the breeding + training side would have to pay the bills.

I met a small-engine pilot who did part-time aerial SAR if called upon, but his main business was a fly-in fishing/hunting camp.

I doubt there's any money in EmComn SAR-support, since there are already all-volunteer ham organizations doing this (ARES, RACES, MARS).

So what I gather from this is that it's hard to make a living at it. It's a shame, because I think it would be gratifying work to get outdoors, make a difference, maybe save lives. But our society pays people alot more to sit in 8x8 boxes and hit buttons.

My family used to train K-9 dogs and I have actually been giving this some thinking but yes you are right I would have to find the right opening!
 

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There aren't that many full time SAR jobs in the US. Most of them are volunteer positions or people in related lines of work like park rangers, fireman, EMT, state police, national guard, FEMA, RCMP and so on. Most often SAR will be a skill set that will make you a better candidate for a more general position.

These people have the training and the answers: http://www.nasar.org/
 

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Don't count on making a living as a SAR guy. They are mostly volunteer organizations with lots of training time and very little actual work. I highly recommend it, but you have to do it for the right reasons...money not being one of them.

As stated, try to get in with your local fire department and work from there. A lot of the training overlaps and you'll interface with SAR teams. Plus you actually have a (small) chance at making (a little) $$$ in the fire service.
Thats about it in a nut shell. I'm in EMS. EMS does not pay like other medical careers. I do it because I like being the first one on, the first one to treat, the first one to help. I WANT to do this kind of work because I feel its nessessary. Without us a lot of people wouldn't have a snow balls chance in [email protected] to get to a hospital to help. Its good to know and have those skills in SAR, and fire. SAR is usually volunteer but the skills you can learn are invaluable.
 
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