Membership Requirements

Thank you for your interest in Santa Fe Search and Rescue (SFSAR).

Our primary mission is to provide trained teams to participate in wilderness searches for persons who are missing, lost or injured. We also train in technical (low angle) rope rescue and winter search & rescue using ski and snowshoes.

SFSAR holds its monthly meetings usually on the second Thursday each month (except December) at 7:00 p.m. at the Vista Grande Public Library, 14 Avenida Torreon, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508 (in Eldorado). The public is welcome to attend our sessions. To provide more detailed information please download our SFSAR New Member Information.


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Submit an Application and complete the Self Assessment Form (found in the SFSAR New Member Information)
  • Meet with a Membership Committee Sponsor
  • Attend two SFSAR monthly meetings
  • Attend a group/social hike or other approved organized event
  • Recommendation by the Membership Committee and approval by the Active Membership
  • Pay the annual dues


  • Complete one year as Associate Member
  • Become Certified (see FAQ 10) or acceptable equivalent skill or training as determined by SFSAR Board within a year
  • Within a year:
    1. Attend 6 monthly Group meetings
    2. Attend 4 Group training sessions
    3. Participate in 3 designated missions


  • Minimum of one year as Active Member
  • Be Certified (see FAQ 10)
  • Must Demonstrate:
    1. Knowledge of safety requirements
    2. Map, compass and GPS skills
    3. Standard search procedures
    4. Radio communications
  • Setting example for other team members of proper search preparation
  • Complete First Aid training
  • Board approval


  • Six month probationary period (starts when prospect becomes an associate member)
  • Must attend 3 SFSAR monthly field trainings
  • Take and pass the on-line ICS test
  • Become Field Certified
  • Complete the Basic Competency Check List, which includes basic skills in:
    1. Communications
    2. Navigation
    3. Search Techniques
    4. Safety & Fitness
    5. Other core competencies

All the above must be completed within a six-month period starting when the prospect becomes an Associate Member

Complete a pack check with Mentor.


Sponsor – An Active Member who guides a Prospective Member through the process of considering membership and becoming an Associate Member. The Sponsor explains the benefits of membership, the assistance given to a new member, the nature of search missions, the expectations of being both a searcher and a Santa Fe Search & Rescue Group member, and personal gear & equipment needs. The Sponsor will answer questions posed by the Prospective Member. The Sponsor will recommend the Prospective Member to the Team for approval as an Associate Member.

Mentor – An Active Member who follows and guides an Associate Member through the period of time when the Associate Member is learning the many issues associated with being a member of the Santa Fe Search & Rescue Group. The Mentor will closely monitor the progress of the Associate Member as he or she works toward the goal of qualifying for the Calling Tree and achieving Active Member status. The Mentor will complete the Basic Competency Checklist with the Associate Member and initial and date the successful completion of each item including Field Certification. Upon completion of the Basic Competency Checklist the Mentor will recommend to the Executive Board that the Associate Member become an Active Member.

Core competencies will be signed off by their mentor or an Active SFSAR Member.

Under unusual circumstances, the Associate Member may petition to their mentor, who will confer with the Board, for a second six-month probationary period. No other extension will be allowed.

If the Member wants to be considered for winter searches, at least one of the trainings must be a winter training.

These changes will apply retroactively to all members at any level who are not yet on the Calling Tree.


The requirements shall be the same as those needed for an Active Member to remain in good standing on an annual basis:

  • Attend at least 6 team meetings
  • Attend at least 4 team trainings
  • Respond to at least 3 New Mexico State Police Search Missions

 These also apply retroactively to all existing Calling Tree Members. The Board is able to extend exceptions when circumstances dictate.