Have you ever thought about volunteering your time and skills with a Search and Rescue Team? Like most people, you would probably answer no to this question.
After all, many people don’t realize the benefits of such an opportunity. To help change that, here are ten reasons why you should consider volunteering your time with a local search and rescue team.
Learn new skills
One of the best reasons to consider volunteering with a search and rescue team is the opportunity to learn new skills. These skills can include training in wilderness survival, first-aid, search and rescue methods, and more.
This type of training can be extremely valuable, especially if you’re interested in a career in emergency services or law enforcement.
There are even some volunteer positions that include training to become a member of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
What is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)?
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) comprises volunteer members who want to help their community be prepared for any type of disaster.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program teaches community volunteers about local hazards and trains them in basic disaster response skills, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
CERT’s consistent nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization allows professional responders to focus on more complex tasks while relying on a uniform resource of volunteers from the community.
What is the difference between a search and rescue team and a community emergency response team?
A search and rescue team is made up of volunteers who are often skilled in the wilderness. They are often called upon to find lost hikers, missing boaters, or even missing Alzheimer’s patients.
A community emergency response team (CERT) is made up of volunteers who are usually skilled in first-aid and basic disaster preparedness. They are often called upon to support victims and other responders during a natural or man-made disaster.
While the two are both made up of volunteers, the two serve different purposes and have different skill sets.
Although the CERT curriculum does teach some light search and rescue operations, a community emergency response team (CERT) is not often called upon to perform the type of search and rescue operations that a search and rescue team would be called upon to perform.
Make new friends
Another great benefit of volunteering with a search and rescue team is the opportunity to make new friends. These friends will likely share your interest in helping others and will be a great support system.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet other volunteers from your community who may want to help out in different ways.
Emergency situations can often be the best bond between people, and the search and rescue community is no exception.
Gain leadership skills
When you volunteer with a search and rescue team, you will also gain leadership skills that can be valuable in many different contexts.
These leadership skills may include learning how to motivate others, how to make important decisions under pressure, and more. Employers often seek these skills, which can make your volunteer work with a search and rescue team an excellent resume-builder.
Leadership Skills you’ll learn as a member of a search and rescue team:
- How to lead effectively in high-stress situations.
- How to make decisions under pressure.
- How to motivate others to reach a goal.
- How to plan and set goals.
- How to conduct effective meetings.
- How to delegate tasks within a team structure.
- How to keep your cool in emergencies.
- How to think quickly on your feet in an emergency or when conducting search operations.
Achieve personal growth
SAR volunteers also have the opportunity to achieve personal growth. This is because there will be many challenges you’ll face as a member of a search and rescue team.
These challenges may include challenging physical feats, attending meetings, and caring about the people in your community. All of this will help you develop emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Examples of Personal Growth:
- Becoming a stronger, more confident person.
- Learning teamwork skills and how to work as part of a team.
- Overcoming the challenges you face in search and rescue operations.
- Gaining leadership skills which can be valuable in many different contexts other than volunteering with a search and rescue team.
Volunteering with a search and rescue team can be a fantastic way to help your community while developing new skills and making new friends. You’ll also be able to contribute in a meaningful and strategic way by assisting others in finding lost loved ones.
Help others in need
The best reason to consider volunteering with a search and rescue team is the opportunity to help others in your community who are truly in need.
When someone needs assistance, it can be gratifying to provide that help.
For example, if you’re a drone operator, you can use your skills to help find mission persons. Learn more about why this technology is changing the face of search and rescue missions.
Examples of ways to help those in need:
- Helping find a missing person.
- Removing trees and branches after a tornado.
- Helping first responders at an emergency scene.
- Rescuing stranded boaters who’ve encountered mechanical issues with their vessel.
Not only will helping others be beneficial for them, but it can also be rewarding for you as well. Knowing that others may live another day through your hard work and dedication can be immensely satisfying. Volunteering with a search and rescue team is a fantastic way to make this happen.
Make a difference
When you volunteer with a search and rescue team, you’ll be able to make an impact in your community. Even if just one life is saved because of your help, that’s something worth considering.
Both the lives of those who are helped and your own personal life will be changed for the better by volunteering with a search and rescue team.
Dustin had always been the type of person to help others in need. When he was younger, he loved to go around his neighborhood and help people move furniture or clean out their gutters. He was always the first to offer his help, and he never expected anything in return.
One day, Dustin heard about Pinnacle Search and Rescue (Cajun Navy 2016) and decided to join. He knew that he could make a difference by helping others in need. He quickly became one of the team’s most dedicated members.
Dustin loved the sense of camaraderie that he felt with his fellow volunteers. They were all there to help each other and make a difference in their community. They often trained together and worked on joint missions together.
Another aspect that Dustin enjoyed was the opportunity to learn new skills. He’d always been interested in learning more about first aid and search techniques, so this gave him a chance to do just that.
Now, Dustin is happy to help others in his community whenever they are in need. He’s also thrilled with how much his life has changed for the better because of his volunteer work with Pinnacle Search and Rescue.
Give back to the community.
As mentioned previously, one reason to consider volunteering with a search and rescue team is the chance to give back to the community.
You’ll be doing something meaningful that will help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
When you volunteer with a search and rescue team, you’ll be able to help people in your community who are genuinely in need. That will not only benefit them, but it can also benefit you by giving you the motivation to keep going.
Jaqueline had always wanted to help people. Ever since she was a little girl, she had dreamed of being a nurse or doctor so that she could save lives. When she grew up, she realized that she could still help people in other ways, and she decided to become a Pinnacle Search and Rescue team member.
At first, Jaqueline wasn’t sure if she was cut out for the job. She often found herself feeling scared and overwhelmed during training exercises and missions. But she pushed through her fears and continued to volunteer with the team.
Over time, Jaqueline began to develop new skills and confidence. She became an integral part of the team, and she was proud to help others in her community.
Jaqueline is now happy with how she has been able to turn her dreams into real-life actions. She helps people every day, and working towards her personal goals has enabled Jaqueline to become a happier person overall.
Take charge of your life.
If there’s one thing that searching for lost hikers can teach you, it’s how to take charge of your life and make changes when necessary. Sometimes, you’ll need to uproot yourself and move to a different place.
Sometimes, you’ll need to add or cut out some activities from your daily routine.
Regardless of whether or not the change will make your life better in the long term, it’s a lesson that search and rescue operations will teach you.
Sometimes, people get lost because there was a detour they didn’t know about or a wrong turn they took accidentally.
Other times, people get lost because their vehicle breaks down or someone gets sick. In whatever situation led to the person being lost, your help can make all the difference in the world.
As a search and rescue team member, you’ll learn how to adapt and overcome whatever may come your way because you know that working together with others can lead to success. You won’t be able to give up when things get tough – instead, you’ll push forward until you find someone who was lost.
Earn a sense of pride
With many volunteer opportunities, you won’t truly reap financial benefits or expect monetary rewards. However, if you consider volunteering with a search and rescue team, it’s quite possible to earn a sense of pride.
Many people feel great knowing that they’re making a difference in the world, even if it’s on a small scale.
This isn’t to say that you’ll get glory and fame by helping others, but it’s a sense of pride in knowing that you did something positive.
There are other ways to help community members who need assistance besides volunteering with a search and rescue team. If you’d like to make an impact on your community, consider one of these options:
- Donate to Pinnacle Search and Rescue
- Offer your skills and expertise to the organization
- Foster children in need
- Find a career that will help you be successful while earning an income.
- Tell friends and family about your volunteer experience, whether it’s with a search and rescue team or another group.
If you’re willing to put your best foot forward and commit yourself to helping others, you’ll be able to benefit from volunteering with a search and rescue team. You can make a real difference in someone’s life and earn a sense of pride that will allow you to continue moving forward no matter what comes your way.
Explore new places
Another benefit of volunteering with search and rescue teams is the opportunity to explore your local area – often, areas you didn’t even know existed!
Whether you take part in wilderness search operations or help with a community outreach program, you’ll likely get to explore new places that can spark your interest.
Here at Pinnacle Search and Rescue, we respond to emergencies not only in Louisiana but also in Texas and Mississippi.
Our team members have had the chance to explore many different places throughout the region, which wouldn’t have happened without being a member of this organization.
Not only will volunteering with a search and rescue team allow you to explore new areas, but it gives you something productive to do in your free time. Whether you spend your weekend, after work hours, or days off volunteering with a search and rescue team, you’ll find yourself exploring new places that inspire your creativity.
Leave a legacy
With many volunteer opportunities, there’s not much of a chance to build something lasting and leave a legacy for years to come. However, when it comes to volunteering with search and rescue teams, this is entirely possible.
Where you can help and where you live may determine how long your legacy lasts. However, if long-lasting positive changes are made in your community because of your hard work and dedication, that’s a wonderful benefit to consider.
Albert and Julie Hebert’s Story
Albert and Julie Hebert were two of the many volunteers who helped during Hurricane Ida. They had retired a few years prior and were looking for something to do in their free time.
Pinnacle Search and Rescue was hosting a drive to collect donations for those affected by the hurricane, and Albert and Julie decided to donate some of their time as well.
They went out into the community, knocking on doors and asking people to donate whatever they could spare. In total, they raised over $1,000 worth of donations – enough to provide food, water, and supplies for families who had lost everything in the storm.
Their dedication set an example for others in the community, showing that even small gestures can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Build your resume
Another top reason to volunteer with a search and rescue team is the opportunity to build your resume.
If you’re interested in a career in emergency management, the fire service, or law enforcement, you’ll likely need some real-world experience on your resume. As a SAR volunteer, there are many ways you can build your resume through education, training, and experience.
We’ve seen it firsthand here at Pinnacle Search and Rescue. One of our team members has a career in law enforcement, where he’s been able to put his skills learned from volunteering with search and rescue teams to use on the job.
Not only will you be building your resume from your time spent with a search and rescue team, but it’s also possible to earn certifications that will help you with career advancement.
For instance, you can use the NIMS classes that we require of our team members to advance your career. In fact, you might even be able to get college credit through certain universities that offer this coursework for NIMS compliance.
Imagine that, what started as a way to help your community, ended up helping you in the process!
Establish a network
Last but not least, another great benefit of volunteering with search and rescue teams is the chance to establish a network.
When you know people who share your passion for helping others and making a difference in the community, it’s likely that you’ll want to stay in touch. After all, they’re like-minded people, and friendships like this can last a lifetime.
This is why you should consider volunteering with a SAR team. When you feel compelled to help those in need or make a difference in the community, the benefits of joining such an organization are endless!
Join Pinnacle Volunteer Search and Rescue
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? If so, get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!
Don’t hesitate to contact Pinnacle Search and Rescue today! Whether you want to help out or get more information about joining our team, we’re here for you. Be sure to give us a call at 833.225.8616 if you have any questions.
We look forward to hearing from you!