Apply to Join Clackamas County Search & Rescue

If you're interested in volunteering with Clackamas County Search & Rescue, please read the following and then complete the volunteer application linked at the bottom of this page.

We accept applications from Jan. 1 - Sept. 15.

Interviews will be held after Sept. 15.

Is Clackamas Search & Rescue right for me?

Thank you for your interest in Volunteer Search and Rescue!

CSAR is a great choice for motivated people to make a real difference in our community.  We are a close-knit team of professionals who rely on each other every time we deploy.This is not just a hobby — it’s more of a lifestyle that requires some dedication and commitment.

Before submitting an application, there are some things you should know that may help you determine if this is the right way to invest your volunteer time:

  1. You will go through a thorough background process. We encourage people not to purchase expensive gear that they would not normally use until they have completed the background process and onboarding with the Sheriff’s Office. This also allows new members time to talk with other team members about what gear should be purchased when the time is right. There are also many discounts through the team once you have been onboarded.
  2. Our members pay for their own personal equipment and fuel. We have a required equipment list and most of the expensive items can be acquired over time since we have a limited number of radios and GPS units to loan out on missions. Most of the other equipment is commonly owned by anyone spending a lot of time in the back-country.
  3. State certification: We require that all members attain the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (OSSA) basic SAR certification and we will train you internally to meet this requirement which can take up to a year to complete. This training is over and above the training described in #4 below.
  4. We hold general team training events once each month on the third weekend of each month, alternating between Saturday and Sunday. We require that members not miss three of these training events in a row or eligibility for missions will be affected until specific minimum training requirements are met.
  5. We have a mission response requirement of at least 12 per year. We spend a lot of time and energy training people to do this critical service safely and effectively. We want to see those skills put to use and your team relationships maintained and strengthened. CCSO receives 120-140 SAR calls each year.
  6. Specialty teams: CSAR has a number of specialty teams including K9, Technical rope rescue, drones, communication, EMS, trail running and ATV. After OSSA certification, we require that all new members spend at least one year (or the first 12 missions, whatever comes first) doing basic ground SAR in order to make sure your basic skills are honed before branching out. Please note that any other disciplines you intend to pursue have additional training requirements that are over and above the general team training requirements described in #4 above.
  7. The Oregon State Sheriffs' Association (OSSA) requires that all SAR members have at a minimum, current basic first aid and CPR cards.    
  8. Each member is required to complete a fitness test each year. We have pre-approved routes that can be hiked on your own schedule. GPS tracks are sent to the training committee chair. Routes typically cover 5-6 miles with at least a 1200’ elevation gain within a given time limit.

If this sounds like a good fit, please fill out an application in the Jan. 1 – Sept. 15 window, and we’ll schedule an interview. 

How to apply

We accept applications Jan. 1 - Sept. 15. 

Our CSAR leadership team will reach out to applicants with information and will schedule an interview. Once background checks are completed, applicants will have limited participation until attending our CSAR Academy the following spring.

If you're interested in volunteering with Clackamas County Search & Rescue, please complete our volunteer application from Jan. 1 - Sept. 15.

Then email that application — along with a cover letter detailing your SAR or backcountry experience — to