The SARTECH I/CREWLEADER level of certification is the advanced level for SAR personnel. The level is recommended only for persons who function on SAR missions asfield searchers and who may function as Crew Leader. Persons who obtain this certification are to function within the limits of the certification described in the NASAR Certification Criteria for SARTECH I/CREWLEADER. The NASAR course that prepares one to challenge the SARTECH I/CREWLEADER examination is Advanced Search and Rescue.
This examination consists of both a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam includes one hundred and twenty (120) questions covering the candidate's knowledge of search and rescue. A passing grade is 70% or above. The candidate is also required to successfully complete a four station practical exam. Should the candidate not successfully complete the practical exam, only the stations that are failed need be repeated within one year of the original testing date. The re-testing may be completed at any SAR TECH I/CREWLEADER examination. If the retesting is done within the one year of the original testing date, no additional payment to NASAR is required. However, a host organization may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of hosting the repeat examination.

The written exam includes questions from the following topics:

  • NIMS Incident Command System
  • Small Unit Leadership
  • Fitness
  • Crew Safety
  • Crewleader SAR Ready Pack
  • Maps, Symbology, & Land Navigation
  • Search Techniques & Tactics
  • Briefing
  • Debriefing
  • Hazardous Terrain Skills
  • Stress Management

The candidate's performance of SAR skills is evaluated at four practical exam stations involving:

  • Station #1: Crewleader SAR Ready Pack: Candidates demonstrate the ability to possess and pack the required SAR equipment and supplies efficiently.
  • Station #2: Hazardous Terrain Skills: Using the contents within the SAR Ready Pack candidates establish a belay system between two points.
  • Station #3: Patient Transport: Using the contents of their SAR Ready Pack and tracking sticks candidates construct an improvised a stretcher.
  • Station #4: Land Navigation: With the use of topographic maps and compass, candidates complete a course over terrain commonly encountered in the operations area in a specified time frame, not to exceed (2000) meters during night time.

The NASAR course that teaches the knowledge to successfully pass the SARTECH I/CREWLEADER certification is the Advanced Search and Rescue course (ADSAR).
Certification Levels SARTECH III through SARTECH I/CREWLEADER are a series of written and practical examinations that test the levels of knowledge and practical skills of SAR personnel. These examinations are based on the NASAR Certification Criteria for SARTECH. The SARTECH Certification Criteria were formulated by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) and recognized by many states and agencies. They have also been submitted for review to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and National Fire Protection Association for their consideration in their standards development.
The SARTECH program is an evaluation process not a learning process. Candidates demonstrate basic SAR competency through written tests and practical skill demonstrations of search and rescue skills.
Upon successful completion of the requirements, a certificate will be issued to the person by NASAR. This certificate does not constitute a license to practice the skills taught in a training program or to practice the knowledge and performance skills that have been evaluated. The certificate does signify that the person holding the certificate has met the requirements of established certification criteria and/or performance skill on the date indicated on the certificate.
NASAR has developed three courses using the NASAR Certification Criteria for SARTECH. These courses are Introduction to Search and Rescue, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue and Advanced Search and Rescue. These courses are designed to teach the student the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the level of SARTECH certification that correspond to the course. Completion of these or any other NASAR sponsored courses are not required for the candidate to challenge any certification examination. The candidates training may come from any available source the candidate chooses.
Candidates who successfully complete the evaluation process will receive a certificate and patch from NASAR signifying their certification level. NASAR does not require a particular re-certification time period but leaves the decision to the organizations and agencies that utilize the SARTECH personnel.
Who Should Attend?
All Operational SAR personnel wishing to function at the Crew Leader Level.

Candidates must be certified at the NASAR SARTECH II level. Candidates must have a current Advanced First Aid certification or above and a current CPR certification or above and provide proof at exam. An ideal Crew Leader should be at the EMT level or above. It is recommended, but not required, that candidates have at least one hundred (100) hours on SAR missions; one hundred (100) hours of land based SAR training; and at least two (2) years active membership with a SAR organization.
Candidate needs all equipment required for the written and practical exam.