Field Team Volunteer

A keen eye for detail, diversity of thought, resilience, flexibility and being able to operate in a small team are essential attributes for field team volunteers.

You should be fit enough to carry a 24 hour pack, plus some search and rescue team equipment, for 8 hours across mixed terrain.

The ability to look after yourself and others in all weathers in the outdoors is critical. While we do use GPS, you should be confident with a map and compass and cross country navigation.

Commitment, Training & Equipment

Field Team volunteers are called upon to conduct search and rescue operations. This could occur at any time of the day or night. You, your whānau, and your employer should all be comfortable with this possibility.

Land Search and Rescue provides a variety of training for Field Team volunteers. Some of it is provided by professional tutors organised at a national level by Land Search and Rescue and some of it is provided by your local group.

After being trained, you will be able to navigate, apply search techniques, identify possible tracks of the missing person, perform first aid, operate communication systems and GPSs, operate safely around helicopters and cross rivers safely.

The frequency and duration of training will depend on your local group, but most groups train at least once a month, and a couple of weekends a year.

We would like to provide our volunteers with all the equipment they need to perform their role. However, equipping volunteers is expensive, and there are occasions where groups are unable to provide all the equipment necessary. Your local group will be able to explain what equipment, if any, you may need to possess.

Role Description

Whether searching an urban or suburban environment for a missing child or someone with cognitive impairment, searching farm land for an overdue shepherd, battling matagouri to locate an injured hunter or bracing against high winds in the mountains responding to a distress beacon, our field team volunteers are our boots on the ground.

Each field team member is self reliant and performs a variety of tasks. They are capable of applying search techniques to locate the lost and missing, and first aid and stretcher management to assist those who are injured.

Register your Interest


Make sure you discuss joining SAR with your employer before signing up. Some work places allow special leave for SAR operations, others may require you to use your own leave. Discuss the process for notifying your boss when you are called out on a search.

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Land Search and Rescue acknowledges the huge commitment made by the whānau of our volunteers. Without family support, many of our volunteers would be unable to dedicate their time. Please share this information with your whānau.

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Ready to play your part?

Get in touch with your local Land Search & Rescue group…

Register your Interest

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