Now that I've earned my Rock Rescue Tech patch, I'm thinking about what other "levels" of search and rescue I might try to accomplish. I've heard people mention SAR Tech I, II and III, so I decided to get more details. And here's what I've found out:
These are tests administered by the National Association for Search & Rescue, with SAR Tech I being the highest level of the three. And it is not necessary to take the SAR Tech III test (written only) to go for SAR Tech II (written and practical tests).
A SAR Tech II exam can be scheduled by anyone who wants to sponsor or host one. I see on the schedule for the upcoming Arizona SAR Conference in Heber (9/18 - 20) that the SAR Tech II test may be taken for a fee of $55.
The SAR Tech II written test consists of 160 multiple choice questions, with a passing grade being no less than 70%. Topics covered in the exam include:
* NIMS Incident Command System
* Basic Survival
* SAR Clothing
* Environmental Hazards and First Aid
* SAR Ready Pack
* Personal Equipment
* Travel Skills
* Land Navigation & Orienteering
* SAR Resources
* Search Philosophy
* Search Tactics
* Handling Evidence
* Clue Consciousness
* Search Operations
* Ropes & Rescue Equipment
* Legal Aspects for the Searcher
The practical test for SAR Tech II is made up of six stations in the categories of land navigation, tracking, the 24-Hour Pack, rope skills, route search and area search. Applicants must demonstrate these skills to an approved evaluator.
An explanation of each of these stations and all the requirements for SAR Tech II and III can be found at http://www.nasar.org/nasar/downloads/SARTECH_III,_II_02,_2003.pdf.
SAR Tech I is the advanced "Crew Leader/Evaluator" level, which is recommended only for those who may function as crew leaders during missions. A list of testing topics, both written and practical, can be found at http://www.nasar.org/nasar/course.php?id=39.
I think SAR Tech II certification is something I want to do, which means I'll need the March, 2005 edition of the textbook, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue. Apparently, earlier editions of the book will not be sufficient to prepare for the exam.
You can see a list of all NASAR Course offerings and examinations on their website at http://www.nasar.org/nasar/course.php.