Frequently Asked Questions by prospective members:

How often does ERTSAR Operational members meet and train?
This depends more on which group you belong to. Certain groups need higher levels of commitment and responsiveness. ERT Search and Rescue operational members, after their basic training, train mostly on weekends and occasional weekdays (in the evenings). This is required to be a specialist Rescue Technician or Medic on our national or international team.

However, some people are SQUAD B and can come out as little as once every two months or so. Naturally, our Primary rescue teams need to train as a team more frequently than that – depending on their positions as Rescue Tech / Medics.

What time commitment are expected from Non-Operational Members - A SQUAD?

The A SQUAD does not have any minimum attendance or commitment level - unless you are in a certain committee or goup that requires it. Basically, A SQUAD commit to help ERTSAR in the furtherance of its aims and are proactive in doing so.

Some can also help with advocacy, administration, events, fundraisers or logistical support. They do not respond operationally as SAR Engineers, Rescuers or Medics - say in the case of C SQUAD.

What time commitment is expected from Operational Members?
This is easier to answer if you first consider what we do. We provide a very high standard of response during emergencies and disasters. Members are required to attain a minimum standard of training and then maintain a minimum attendance depending on their position and level with ERTSAR. You can discuss this in more detail at a level 1 induction or with a recruitment officer.

But be advised, if you join and do not attend or even reply in 3 to 6 months you may find you are unsuccessful in your application to the team and removed from your operational team application. 

Attendance from Operational Members is Mandatory.

Do members pay for their essential Operational Training?
No. Members receive their essential operational training for free. They can also access other specialized and non-mandatory training, equipment and services as a benefit of membership, for a discounted rate. 

What experience or training should I have?
For Operational members, we prefer if you apply join when you have operational experience - such as the Police, EMS / Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Military or medical professional like a Doctor, Nurse or Paramedic.  We also prefer if you already have training, experience or official certification such as NFPA compliant Tech. Rescue like rope, USAR or water etc.

In some cases though, just a keen desire and physical capacity may be enough. Talk with us in recruiting.

Do members pay a membership fee?
Yes. $75 for the year (Canada) or £60 for the year (in the United Kingdom). This contributes toward their membership costs, training and membership. Members all pay this and if there were any hardships we try to work with them.

Do members have to pay for their own uniform and kit?
We ask that new applicants, once accepted as provisional members, purchase their own basic regular uniform and boots and we do have our recommended suppliers. There is a minimum level of duty belt personal kit that you will also need to obtain and we check this kit to ensure it is present and suitable. Costs for this are quite reasonable.

If it is team or organizational specialist equipment and uniform that the charity owns (such as dry-suits, helmets, PFDs, etc) will be loaned to members for the duration of a deployment or training session. This is very affordable and we advise the best routes to obtain.

Can I submit my CV?
A C.V. (or resume) is welcomed to accompany this application, but is not necessary.  If you do - you may send a soft copy to

Your References
Please note that you should also provide 2 references with your application or soon after. 
(These should not be family members and should have known you at least 3 years, preferably in a professional capacity.) 

Also expect to provide a Police Records / Criminal Background check for work with vulnerable people.

Asking for a Reference

Many people join ERT SAR hoping to put it on their resume. That's fine and accepted if you are putting in the work. But please do not ask for a reference if you are in-active or not coming out.  As a legitimate international disaster response emergency service we realise the weight that comes from our references.  ERT SAR is an official organisation with an international footprint. We simply do not create references to fill peoples C.V.s or job applications - unless earned.

References are gladly given to full members who have been actively attending for at least 2 years from the C or D Squad. 

B squad members may also get a "Record of Service" if actively attending. NO references are given if you do not complete basic training, have a minimum of 10 full sessions or are actively attending at the time of request. No exception. 

If you are then we gladly give members a record of service or reference.  


I just want to deploy internationally. How long will this take?
It is great that you want to help and join to deploy abroad but we want to manage expectations in this regard. 

Depending on your level of training, skill, commitment and attendance - it can easily take a couple of years before you would be considered for the Group D - International Disaster Team.

And even if it became available and you passed all the standards - there are still a lot of variables that may prevent your deployment.  For example, you may not be available, you may not be selected, the mission may require a certain team make up and you may not have the experience or training (or example we may select our medics or our USAR operators etc.) and so on so we ask you to not expect to deploy soon after joining.  However, you may deploy sooner and you may assist the team who do deploy and certainly be a huge assistance and member of the ERT SAR organisation as a vehicle to help so many who need support during times of disasters and humanitarian crisis' so please help and do what you can.

There is no binary, 100% yes time or no, to this question but certainly limiting factors are lack of training, skills needed, ability, attendance, seniority etc. Talk with us in recruiting if this is of interest.

Discount Programs

Members can access various discounted services and products from numerous suppliers and sources. These range from 10% off to completely Free. In most cases you can just show your membership or ID Card. Check our list for more info.

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