Q: What is the Anchorage Search Team?
A: The Anchorage Search Team is an all-volunteer trained (non sworn) search team under the direction of the Anchorage Police Department. The team members are not law enforcement officers, yet are available to serve APD officers as requested when a person is missing and the officer needs assistance.
Q: What is the management structure of the organization?
A: The Search Team is managed by an elected board that includes one or more Police Officer Liaisons from APD.
Q: Does the team need specialists?
A: Yes. the Search Team needs people with special training in administration, radio operations, logistics and vehicle operations to assist team management and drive the Mobile Incident Command Vehicle. (MIC) Depending on your specialty you may or may not be on call 24/7.
Q: Will I need to purchase search equipment or will it be provided to me?
A: Each searcher will be provided a search-vest, hat, radio, FSR radio, pager, city map, and official ID. Members are responsible for purchasing the required list of items to go in the vest. Those include a compass, flashlight, pencil & note pad, water bottle, whistle, and first aid supplies.
Q: What level of fitness is required?
A: If you are not a specialist you should have a level of fitness that allows you to climb to the top and descend safely from Flat Top.
Q: How old must one be to join?
A: The minimum age is 19 years old.
Q: Will I receive training?
A: All new team members are on probation for at least 6 months. During this time you will be mentored, be provided with equipment, be on call and respond to searches and attend one night of training each month. In addition, you will be required to attend the Search Team academy, achieve certification in CPR/First Aid/AED and study and receive certification as a minimum SAR Tech lll through NASAR within one year of joining.
Q: How often must I participate to continue my service with Search Team?
A: One must attend a minimum of 50% of the training and 25% of the searches to remain on the team.
Q: How often am I on call?
A: You are on call 24/7. Sometimes one is called out twice in a day but other times a month may pass with no call out.
Q: Must I carry auto insurance?
A: All members must provide proof of minimum state requirements for liability insurance on the auto they respond in and have a stellar driving record.
Q: When paged do we speed to the scene?
A: No, members will respond obeying all traffic rules.
Q: What does the background check entail?
A: You may not have any felonies on your record and misdemeanors in the past ten years are thoroughly reviewed. You may also be subject to being fingerprinted.
Q: Does the team respond to situations that may be disturbing to the searcher?
A: Yes, sometimes the team is tasked in situations that may result in finding a deceased person, working around inebriates or working with distraught family members.
Q: What level of commitment do I need from my family and employer?
A: Serving the community on the Search Team team requires a level of commitment atypical for volunteers. You are always on call. If you are in town you are expected to respond. The requirements for certification take time and study yet the rewards in serving your community is great.
Q: How long does the application process take?
A: From application to interview expect a minimum of one month.
Q: How do I find out more information?
A: If you have the commitment and time to serve the Search Team and the Anchorage Community please send an email at (HERE) Someone will contact you soon. Thank you for your interest in joining the Search Team!