Applying to become a member

Every year Cornwall Search and Rescue Team receive numerous applications from members of the public to join the team. Although we are all volunteers, we work with all of the professional emergency services so our standards are set extremely high.

Competition to get a place on the team can be strong, and vacancies don’t come up very often so when we do have an induction we have a detailed selection process to help identify those who will be most successful and of the greatest benefit to the team.

It can take anywhere between six and eighteen months to progress from being a trainee to a full call out team member. Obviously trainees want to get on to the call out list as soon as possible, and we want that too, so it is beneficial if applicants already have a strong understanding in one or more of the following areas:


  • The ability to navigate to a six figure grid reference, day or night and in any weather or terrain, using a map and compass.


  • This could include people who are health care professionals. The knowledge should extend beyond basic first aid.


  • Such as outdoor pursuit instructors who lead groups etc., those who have previous search and moorland rescue experience etc.


  • The team extends beyond just the operational side, with a whole “behind the scenes” support framework to keep the team running.

It takes the team a lot of time and resources to train individual members, therefore good experience will significantly enhance your chances of being accepted as a trainee. This would mean that we can concentrate on providing training in other areas which are unique to the team such as searching for missing people, equipment and other specialist training modules including working with helicopters and crime scene awareness.

This information is by no means exhaustive, but demonstrates the main skills and backgrounds that our current team members have. There are of course many other routes and activities that can be done to help enhance an application for membership, but if you are unsure if your experience is what we are looking for, then please feel free to get in touch with us for an informal chat prior to submitting your application form.

To apply, email for an application form