Prospective Member FAQs
What you need to know if you are interested in joining Alpine Rescue Team –
- How do you choose new members? New members are selected through an application and interview selection process. We receive dozens of applications, and typically accept 12-15 new members.
- What types of skills do I need before applying? The team looks for individuals who wish to help others and have the time and desire to contribute. No special skills are required. Attitude is much more important than skill level, and specific skills needed to participate will be taught.
- When is the next Prospective Member (PM) class to begin? The next Prospective Member class will begin on December 6, 2021.
- What does the PM training look like? How much time does it take? Assume it is like a college semester course – approximately 4 hours per week in person with assignments prior and after each class. Additionally, every other weekend there is an 8 hour field course. There are quizzes, field challenges, and extra learning required and recommended. This will occur from December until mid-May (~6 months).
- What happens after the PM training concludes? After the official PM training concludes, PMs attend all-team trainings and participate in missions. This is when they put their skills into practice and integrate into the Team. Expectations of participating in 50% of all activities is required. In mid-October, PMs that have proven their skills and ability to work with our team members towards Alpine Rescue Team’s mission are voted by the Team for full field active membership.
- What if I already have the outdoor skills you teach PMs? Can I just skip the training and join? The most basic member of Alpine Rescue Team has a wide variety of skills expected of them to safely participate in searches and rescues for individuals. Additionally, like any organization, there is a personal integration within the membership of knowing “how things operate”, which resources are available for members, etc.
- What if I was on a different SAR team, or am a ski patroller, or similar member? Then can I just jump right in as an Alpine Rescue Team member? No, unless you were on an MRA accredited team for a minimum of 2 years in good standing and have a recommendation from that MRA Team. If so, please contact newmember [at] alpinerescueteam [dot] org for more information. Otherwise, please proceed forward with the PM process listed above.
- How much time does it take to be an Alpine Rescue Team member, after the PM training? Like any volunteer commitment, what you put into it is what you get out of it. Field active members (those responding to missions), are required to attend 7 field trainings per year, 11 classroom trainings, and 20% of all missions (see our mission numbers per year on our website). This is the bare minimum of any member.
- How much does it cost to be an Alpine Rescue Team member? Initially, it can cost up to $2000 in supplies, depending on what you already own – good mountaineering boots (per weather season), team jacket, snow travel and safety equipment, 10 essentials, helmet, climbing harness, etc. This does not include the fuel in your personal vehicle from attending trainings, and responding to missions. We respond to 3 counties, and it is normal to drive 1 hour to get to the trailhead of where our mission is.
- Sounds great! What do I do while I wait for the next PM selection process to begin; how can I be involved? Look at our online calendar and attend a Wednesday night training! Most are open to the public, and it’s a great way to get to know us, and for us to know you!
- Anything else I can do? Support and follow us on social media, buy a CORSAR card, attend a Skills for the Hills training, and keep enjoying our outdoors (safely)!
- Okay, that is too much for me but I want to help somehow. What can I do? Do you have a special talent for planning large fundraising events? Writing grants? Videographer? We have an Associate Member program for those wanting to help our team with a full commitment on the administrative side. If interested, please contact associates [at] alpinerescuteam [dot] org
- I have questions – who can I contact? Contact newmember [at] alpinerescueteam [dot] org if your question is not already answered above. Remember, our members are volunteers and besides trainings and missions, they fulfill these administrative duties. Be kind and respectful of their time. J