We are often asked “How do I get a job in Mountain Rescue?” In the United States, the vast majority of individuals that provide the critically important mountain rescue services are volunteers. With few exceptions, the individual members of Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) teams work as highly trained volunteer professionals, which means that they each have “real jobs.”
Among the most notable of the few exceptions are the rescue professionals that work in National Parks. In particular, park rangers in such parks as Yosemite, Denali, and Mt. Rainier perform rescues routinely…but they also serve in other functions when not engaged in rescues; functions such as park management, law enforcement and visitor interpretation. Go towww.usajobs.gov and search on terms like “Park Ranger” for current job listings.
Individuals interested in acquiring training in search and rescue have a few options available to them. By joining a volunteer search and rescue team, individuals receive “on the job” training as part of their new member orientation. Individuals interested in more structured national training programs should evaluate the valuable trainings available through the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR) at www.nasar.org.
Finally, individuals interested in technical rope rescue training should contact the private businesses that provide such programs, including Ropes That Rescue (www.RopesThatRescue.com) and Rigging for Rescue (www.RiggingForRescue.com).