The SARTECH II level of certification is the intermediate level for SAR personnel. This level is recommended for any person who functions on SAR missions as field searchers. The NASAR course that prepares the candidate to challenge the SARTECH II is Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR). Candidates are encouraged to always use the latest version of the FUNSAR text since it is updated regularly.
There are no prerequisites required for a person to challenge the SARTECH II examination. Certification history does indicate persons who have had formal SAR training and experience on SAR missions successfully pass the examinations more frequently than others do.
The SARTECH II examination consists of written exam and a practical exam. The written exam includes one hundred and forty-five (145) questions covering the candidate's knowledge of search and rescue. A passing grade is 70% (102 correct answers) or above.
Upon passing the written exam, the candidate is then required to successfully complete a six station practical exam. Should the candidate not successfully complete all of the practical exam stations, only the stations that are failed need be repeated if this is done within one year of the original testing date. The re-testing may be completed at any subsequent SARTECH II evaluation. 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. If an additional retest is needed, the NASAR fee is collected. (One NASAR fee covers the original exam and retest, if needed.)
The written exam includes questions from the following topics:
- NIMS Incident Command System
- Basic Survival
- SAR Clothing
- Environmental Hazards and First Aid
- SAR Ready Pack
- Personal Equipment
- Travel Skills
- Land Navigation & Orienteering
- SAR Resources
- Search Philosophy
- Search Tactics
- Handling Evidence
- Clue Consciousness
- Search Operations
- Ropes & Rescue Equipment
- Legal Aspects for the Searcher
The candidate's performance of SAR skills is evaluated at six practical exam stations involving:
- Station #1: Land Navigation: 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 600 meters.
- Station #2: Tracking: Candidates identify and mark a footprint track left by the evaluator and follow the track to its end.
- Station #3: 24-hour Pack: This used to be a required station - it isn't any longer. Candidates should carry the basic survival and safety supplies for their environment and the items to complete the stations.
- Station #4: Rope Skills: Candidates demonstrate the ability to tie four basic knots and a harness with supplied rope and webbing.
- Station #5: Route Search: This station entails locating and labeling clues in a given area demonstrating the ability to detect 50% of the clues using a route search tactic.
- Station #6: Area Search: This station entails locating and labeling clues in a given area demonstrating the ability to detect 50% of the clues using an area search tactic.
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 (NFPA) 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, (ISAR) Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) and Advanced Search and Rescue (ADSAR). 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.
Candidates must have a current CPR and Basic First Aid (or higher) certification. Candidates should be familiar with SARTECH II testing requirements. They must have a compass for the written exam and all required equipment for the practical exam.