FUNSAR Course and the SARTECH II Examination

Register for the Course – Sponsored by Kent County Search and Rescue, Course instruction by the Buckeye Emergency Response Training School

Kent County Search and Rescue is a FEMA Typed Wilderness Search and Rescue Organization and we require our members to achieve the National Standard for a Professional Wilderness Search and Rescue Technician as describe by the National FEMA SAR Working Group.  As part of the FEMA Working Group Standards, we require our members to become a Certified Search and Rescue Technician, Level II.   Crewleaders are encouraged to become a certified Search and Rescue Technician Level 1 – Crewleader.   Our Roster currently has 20 SARTECH II Certified Personnel, 6 SARTECH Evaluators, and 1 SARTECH I/Crewleader.  This represents the largest “Certified” responding roster in the State of Michigan.

In 2011, KCSAR hosted the first Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) and the SARTECH II Examination in Michigan.   Agencies who expect to respond in the state of Michigan are encouraged to adopt the national standard to comply with FEMA requirements for Wilderness Search and Rescue.

Our next FUNSAR Course and SARTECH II Exam is April 4-6, 11-13.  Professional Members of Kent County Search and Rescue have priority for the slots, then other Professional Responders and Professional Search and Rescue Agencies.   Remaining slots go to members of the public, CERT Team Members, Citizen’s Corp Volunteers and other citizen organizations.

Interested individuals can contact the Chuck Hayden, Deputy Director of Training  for more information and to register.

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue – Intermediate level course for search and rescue field personnel

The Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) course is the second, intermediate level  of NASAR courses. It provides knowledge concerning the general responsibilities,  skills, abilities, and the equipment needed by persons who are assigned to field  operations during a SAR mission. 
The FUNSAR course also provides the student with practical exercises in addition  to a practice search mission where the students are required to have the proper  equipment and stay out in the field during daylight and nighttime operations.  The course content includes topics in three major areas: survival and support,  search and rescue. This course is based around the rural and wilderness environments  but the material is recommended as a basis for all SAR environments.FUNSAR provides a common point in training for the new person to SAR and allows  them to accumulate the required clothing and equipment needed for SAR operations  in their community. The course also provides practical experience during simulated  SAR operations and in many cases is an excellent refresher course for the more  experienced SAR worker. This common starting point provides continuity during  SAR operations and future training of all team members. 
FUNSAR is the NASAR course designed to prepare the student to challenge the SARTECH  II certification exam, according the knowledge objectives defined in the NASAR  certification criteria for SARTECH II. 
The newest edition of the Fundamentals of Search and Rescue textbook was released  in 2005. Previous editions of the textbook will not prepare one to challenge  the FUNSAR exam or the SARTECH II certification. 
The recommended number of hours for the course is (47) forty-seven. The course  is usually conducted over two weekends starting on Friday night but can be taught  (5) five days straight.

Who Should Attend

  • Those interested in becoming involved or have just become involved with search  and rescue operations.
  • SAR personnel who would like to maintain or refresh their knowledge of search  and rescue.
  • Emergency response personnel who belong to organizations who provide resources  and assistance during search and rescue missions.
  • Managers of emergency response organizations who want to understand the state  of the art skills and knowledge needed by the SAR workers.
  • Community members and groups (scouts, hunters, hikers, etc.) that have an interest  in safety and preventative SAR operations.


  • While not required, the Introduction to Search and Rescue/SARTECH III course  is recommended as a prerequisite for FUNSAR
  • Although highly recommended, the FUNSAR course is not required to challenge the  SARTECH II certification exam
  • The written exam given at the conclusion of the FUNSAR class is the written SARTECH  II exam. Provided the student passes the written SARTECH II exam at the conclusion  of the FUNSAR class, AND takes the SARTECH II certification exam within a year,  the student is not required to retake the written exam at the time of the SARTECH  II certification exam. They only are required to take and pass the six (6) SARTECH  II practical stations to earn their SARTECH II certification.


  • Review of SAR Management System
  • Fitness, Basic Survival and Survival Body Management
  • Clothing and Personal Protection Systems for SAR
  • Emergency Survival Skills
  • Improvising Environmental Hazards and Survival First Aid SAR Ready Pack
  • Nomenclature of Personal Outdoor Equipment
  • SAR Travel Skills
  • Land Navigation and Orienteering
  • SAR Resources
  • Capabilities
  • Search Philosophy
  • Estimating POD
  • Search Tactics and Searcher Skills
  • Handling Evidence
  • Review of Clue Consciousness
  • SAR Crew Responsibilities
  • Tracking Skills
  • Rope and Rescue Equipment
  • Legal Aspects for Searchers

After Completion

Upon successful completion of the FUNSAR course, the student should be able to:

  • Define the components of SAR operations
  • List the major responsibilities for search and rescue
  • Describe the components of ICS and their functions
  • List and prioritize the necessities of life
  • Explain the survival situation plan (STOP) Stay, Think, Observe, Plan
  • List the similarities or differences and advantages or disadvantages of the different  natural and synthetic materials used for SAR clothing
  • Describe and demonstrate the function of each of the layers of clothing
  • Differentiate between a 24-hour ready pack and urban ready pack
  • Demonstrate the use of a 24-hour ready pack
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the equipment used for SAR
  • Demonstrate the use of personal SAR equipment
  • Demonstrate traveling skills used for his/her environment
  • Define, describe, and identify the signs and symptoms, and describe the treatment  of common medical emergencies during SAR operations
  • List and differentiate between at least three types of maps used in SAR
  • Identify, define, and demonstrate the use of the topographical maps
  • Define the plotting methods or grid systems and demonstrate the ability to use  them to determine the coordinates for a given point
  • Describe the parts of the compass and demonstrate the ability to use it
  • Describe the navigational functions used in map and compass
  • Demonstrate the ability to navigate during daylight and nighttime hours
  • Differentiate between the two basic categories of search tactics (Passive and  Active)
  • Describe the primary types of active search tactics
  • Describe the techniques and methods used for search tactics
  • List and demonstrate at least five of the searching or tactical skills needed  by field searchers
  • Explain why SAR personnel search for clues not subjects
  • List the information needed by the searcher when alerted
  • Define and demonstrate the functions of the search crew positions
  • Define track or print, sign, and step-by-step tracking as well as demonstrate  the step-by-step tracking procedures
  • List at least two materials used in rope and at least two types of design used  in rope; as well as list at least five of the rules of rope etiquette
  • List the different advantages and disadvantages of materials used in carabiners
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of at least two types of stretchers  or litters
  • List at least five common radio procedures and guidelines
  • Describe the basic legal philosophy concerning searcher knowledge, training,  physical abilities, equipment, discipline, and control

Contact the Training Unit for more information.