Due to the commitment and physical requirements involved in being a part of Search and Rescue, the Board of KVSAR has put together these requirements to become a part of our team:
Must be at least 19 years of age
No Significant Criminal Background
No Current Drug Use
Must hold valid California Drivers License with minimal negative marks on driving record
Must be able to pass a medical exam
Must be committed to maintaining mandatory minimum attendance (50% monthly meetings, PR Events, and trainings)
It is also worth noting that KVSAR is not tax payer funded. All personal equipment is either purchased by donations by the community or by KVSAR members within the team. This is an unpaid volunteer position. The first few years of memberships require substantial purchases of equipment by the team and members. However, the time and monetary commitment is worth all that is sacrificed when considering the service that is given back to the community.
Process to Join
Must attend 3 consecutive Meetings and Trainings
This requirement is so that the prospective member becomes accustomed to what is expected of him or her and gets to know the team and personalities within it. Team continuity is very important and if the prospect does not feel comfortable among the team, it is better to find that out at the beginning and not after the process is complete. Meetings are held monthly on the 4th Wednesday of each month, except for November and December. Training days are held on the Saturday following the monthly meeting. November and December trainings are scheduled around holidays.
Interview with the Board of Directors of KVSAR
The board will sit down with the prospective member and interview the individual to determine the individual's eligibility into the unit. If the Board recommends membership, they will forward that recommendation to the Kern County Sheriff's Department for further processing.
Background Investigation with Kern County Sheriff Office
The prospective member will be given a personal history packet that must be filled out completely and returned to the sheriff's department by a specific due date given once you pick up the packet. The prospect must follow the instructions exactly, as directed by the department. The packet includes high school/college transcripts, statement of criminal history, statement of history of drug usage, driving record, and interviews of friends and family members. The investigation is very thorough and any omissions will be grounds for disqualifications. Once complete, a sheriff department background investigator will review the packet in its entirety and schedule the prospect for an interview. Then the prospect will be given an opportunity to clear up any areas that may need additional explanation and the Background Investigator will ask questions to determine suitability for the position. Once completed, the Background Investigator will forward the recommendation to the Board of KVSAR. If the prospect passes the Background Investigation, he/she will be eligible for a medical exam.
Medical Exam by a Department Physician
As stated above, Search and Rescue is a very strenuous position. The Department will send you to their physician and you will go through an extensive medical examination. This exam will include a drug test, physical limitation examination, and eyesight exam.
Once complete with all of the above, the prospect will be sworn in by an approved member of the Kern County Sheriff's Department.
If you are interested in membership within Kern Valley Search and Rescue, and the above requirements did not scare you away, please fill out the form below so that a Membership Liaison can contact you.