The Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training (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.

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training

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. Our Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training course content includes topics in three major areas: survival, 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.

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training is the NASAR course designed to prepare the student to challenge the SARTECH II certification exam, according to knowledge objectives defined in the NASAR certification criteria for SARTECH II.

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.
Quote: “The FUNSAR course I took not only gave me the basic skills and understanding of doing a proper, safe search, but also gave me the confidence to take care of myself and my team members during search operations. The Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training course should be a minimum requirement for anyone wanting to be part of a SAR Team.”

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 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 us directly for rates and scheduling. Individual or group available daily. Group discounts available.


Contact us today to discuss your agency or personal needs and for scholarships and group discounts. This course is available at YOUR location and compatible with your training schedule needs.


Fundamentals of Search and Rescue Training in Tennessee