Interested in joining NESAR?
You MUST read the membership criteria below. If you would like to pursue membership with NESAR, submit the form here to the Membership Committee with your name, address, home and cell phone numbers and your primary SAR interest.
General Membership Criteria and Information for Prospective K-9 Handlers
General Membership Criteria:
- Members must be at least 18 years of age.
- Members must live within a reasonable distance of Stroudsburg, PA (preferably within a 1-hour drive).
- Members should be available Thursday evenings and Saturdays on a regular basis.
- Members interested in field operations must be in good physical health and must be comfortable in various types of weather and terrain.
- Members should be available 24/7 on a fairly regular basis for emergency responses.
- Prospective members are expected to meet with a NESAR member designated by the Membership Committee prior to receiving a membership application packet.
- Applicant members must attend 6 team functions within a reasonable amount of time before being considered for full membership.
- In order to maintain active membership status, members are expected to maintain a minimum 50% attendance level for team functions, including: emergency call outs; meetings; required training sessions; and fund raising events.
- Members are expected to maintain a high level of emergency preparedness by attending team training sessions on a regular basis as well as practicing SAR techniques on their own.
- Members are financially responsible for their own equipment, clothing, travel expenses and some costs for classes and class materials.
Prospective K-9 Handler Information:
- K-9 handlers must understand the substantial time commitment required in addition to regular SAR training and participation in team functions.
- Canines must have a clean history of behavioral problems, including: aggression and unusual timidity towards strangers and aggression towards other dogs.
- Handlers and canines must be in good physical condition as training sessions and search tasks can be quite rigorous.
- Prospective handlers and canines are required to undergo an evaluation prior to being accepted as K-9 team candidates.
- Canines should be between the ages of 6 months and 2 years of age at the time of their evaluation.
- Canines must be "hooked" on a favorite toy prior to being evaluated.
- Applicant handlers will be expected to regularly attend team functions without their canine partners for a period of time prior to beginning their own team K-9 training.
- Handlers should expect to train with their canine partners for a minimum of 1 year in preparation for their Basic Wilderness Evaluation (60 acres). This training period can be as long as 3 years.
- Handlers interested in pursuing K-9 opportunities in tracking/trailing, cadaver, water and disaster related SAR specialties may have to, at the discretion of NESAR’s K-9 Committee and officers, first pass a Basic Wilderness and/or Advanced Wilderness Evaluation.
- Other than the tracking/trailing dogs, SAR dogs normally work off lead in the field and are free to roam about in various types of weather, terrain and wilderness/rural/urban environments. The handler must be comfortable with this and must be able to maintain control of his/her dog at all times.