Search and Rescue Squad Leader, SRT1

Position Category: 
All-Hazard Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
AD Class: 


The purpose of this position is to act as an emergency responder, and to perform technical search, rescue and/or recovery operations in a vertical or near vertical environment of an incident. Works competently on a rock face without close supervision.


  • Responds to emergency situations involving technical search or rescue operations. Conducts or performs search, rescue, and recovery operations in a vertical or near vertical environment.
  • Utilizes appropriate technical equipment and techniques in performing search, rescue, and recovery operations.
  • Performs technical rescue operations in a vertical environment, to include constructing complex rigging systems, operating raise and lower systems, rigging and operating mechanical advantage systems, and managing suspended litters and patient attendants.
  • Provides emergency medical treatment with the scope of certification and .training.
  • Documents locations of alerts, clues and follow-up tasks. Cooperates with and assists other search and rescue resources. Ensures adherence to all safety procedures.
  • Accounts for, utilizes, maintains, and performs minor repair for all issued equipment.
  • Prepares, presents, or participates in briefings, receives situation reports and stays informed of mission objectives and status changes.
  • Performs and leads hasty searches, grid searching for evidence or clues, aerial searches, helicopter rescue operations, etc.
  • Performs additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Operational knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS), and the development and use of integrated action planning concepts and processes.
  • Advanced knowledge of technical strategies and techniques, including the construction and maintenance of rigging systems, operating raise and lower systems, rigging and operating mechanical advantage systems, managing rope as it moves through a system, managing and assisting litters, rigging anchor systems, and ascending and descending fixed lines.
  • Knowledge of technical search equipment, and the ability to operate and maintain a variety of search, rescue, and recovery equipment and maintain proficiency as technology changes.
  • Advanced knowledge of search, rescue, and recovery operations and techniques, including area sectoring, search patterns, victim location clues, hazard awareness, weather implications, search team organization and operating procedures.
  • Knowledge of technical search and rescue operations acquired through successful completion of an approved National Park Service Technical Search and Rescue course or equivalent
  • Ability to work independently as a rescuer or litter attendant, employing advanced skills in the vertical rescue environment.
  • Knowledge of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and its appropriate use in search, rescue, and recovery operations.
  • Knowledge of situational awareness requirements including personal equipment, essential rescue equipment, and general all-risk hazards.
  • Ability to provide emergency medical treatment as a first responder.
  • Advanced knowledge of the technical aspects of search theory, including map, compass, and GPS techniques, ability to accurately sketch a search area, and recognize and identify victim location clues.

Supervisory Controls

Work direction is provided by the Technical Team Leader or other designated supervisor. The technical work is performed independently as a senior member of a technical SAR team or other all-risk operational team. Work· is reviewed for acceptability and compliance with operating instructions and procedures.


Procedures for doing the work have been established and a number of specific guidelines or standard orders are available such as oral instructions, standard operating procedures, maps, instruction manuals, and health and safety codes. Occasional problems may not be specifically covered by guidelines.

The employee uses independent judgment in locating and selecting the most appropriate guidelines, references and procedures based on the situation at hand, and individual park rules and regulations.


The Technical Team Member works in a wide variety of functional areas which require diverse skills, often involving critical lifesaving situations such as technical search and rescue, emergency medical and aviation incidents.

Emergency response often involves decision-making and action in extremely adverse physical and emotional conditions and ability to function effectively in controversial and/or sensitive situations. Work requires application and modification of established practices in most areas of responsibility, with considerable individual discretion and judgment exercised in emergency situations.

Scope and Effect

The purpose of this position is to participate in technical search and rescue operations, to implement incident objectives for a safe operation, and to work for short to extended periods of time when looking for clues or lost subjects during multiple operational period incidents.

The Technical Team Members decisions and actions impact the safety of self and others, the efficiency of assignments, and the effectiveness and timeliness of incident operations.

Personal Contacts

Personal contacts are with local agency search and rescue team personnel or incident management team personnel during the duration of the incident.

Additional contacts may be made with media operations, family members, special interest groups, and others interested and assisting with the incident.

Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of contacts is to present or obtain briefings and orders, as well as to relay incident information to and from the incident management team and other team members, and to provide general and specific information and assistance.

Physical Demands

Work routinely involves physically rigorous assignments and strenuous activity. Incumbent must maintain excellent physical condition to carry out responsibilities, including the ability to hike and climb in mountainous and desert terrain during inclement weather, to perform lengthy search, rescue and recovery missions, and to perform assignments often in remote areas of steep, hazardous terrain, accessible only by foot. These routine and emergency situations often require clear reasoning and decisive action under conditions of extreme mental and physical stress.

Work Environment

Work environment is predominately outdoors in all types of weather and terrain conditions, night or day, including at times in inclement weather, or prolonged periods of time. Travel may be by foot, ski, snowshoe, vehicle, aircraft or boat. The incumbent is subject to cold, hot, windy, wet, or snowy conditions for several days at a time. Working elevations range from below sea level to above 8,000 feet.


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