The United States Search and Rescue Rangers

United States Search and Rescue Task Force

When a person is lost or endangered or when a disaster occurs, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there is available, a dedicated group of search and rescue and disaster response specialists: The United States Search and Rescue Task Force. Within the Task Force resides our elite specialty unit, the United States Search and Rescue Rangers.

Our specially trained “Ranger” Unit is the elite of the Task Force. When a Ranger is dispatched to your location, you can expect a specialist with a minimum of five years of public safety service (at least two years in search and rescue/disaster response) and a minimum of 350 hours of training in numerous related search and rescue, disaster response and public safety subjects. The Rangers are not only trained in search skills, but also land navigation, logistics, search management, search resource allocation and, the Task Force maintains a historical data base of lost person behaviors.

So, you want to be a Ranger?

In order to become a Ranger, you must first apply to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force.  Upon acceptance, you will serve as a probationary specialist for 6 months during which time you may begin taking the required courses.  Waivers are granted for those who have the required training (with copy of certification presented).  Likewise, waivers may be granted for some of the requirements below with due cause.

Required Experience and Training:

  • Minimum 5 years of emergency service experience: rescue, police, fire, military, etc.

  • Minimum 2 years in search and rescue

  • Minimum 6 months service with the U.S. SAR Task Force

  • Basic Search and Rescue Operations Certification

  • Incident Command Systems (ICS) Certification

  • First Aid Certification

  • Manager of Search Operations (MSO, MLPI, ISAR, etc.) Certification

  • FEMA Emergency Program Manger Certification

  • FEMA Emergency Response Team Certification

  • Hazardous Materials First Responder Certification

  • Critical Incident Stress Management Certification

  • FEMA Emergency Response to Terrorist Incidents Certification

  • Crime Scene, Evidence Preservation, Court Testimony Certification

  • OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) Certification

  • Must be a certified instructor in any one discipline relating to public service or emergency services

  • In addition to the above, there are other courses that are electives that must be met to total a minimum of 200 additional hours of training

Combining the above, exceeds 350 hours of training!

There are other basic requirements for Rangers, that must be met, such as:

  • Must be willing to travel within a radius of 100 miles

  • Must have a cell phone

  • Must be willing to have a group pager, 24/7

  • Must have a reliable vehicle for transportation

Rangers applicants must also:

  • Be interviewed by a board of 3 Rangers of the rank of Sergeant or above. Interviews are conducted quarterly

  • Undergo a criminal record investigation

  • Undergo a background investigation

To answer any questions that you may have, the United States Search and Rescue Task Force general information number is: 215-922-7225 or, you may forward electronic mail to us at the following address on the Internet:

Good luck in your new venture. With hard work and dedication, you to may be one of the elite –

A United States Search and Rescue Ranger!


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