Join Tacoma Mountain Rescue

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TMR is a volunteer search and rescue organization. Our missions can occur anywhere in Washington and range from non-technical urban searches to very technical and dangerous searches on glaciers or vertical rock in inclement weather.

Minimum Skills Required for Field Support Members

TMR expects applicants to possess the training and experience necessary to accompany our team safely on glaciers and technical rock. The training provided by TMR focuses on group rescue techniques and will not provide these entry-level technical skills. In addition, applicants must have completed, at the very least, a basic CPR and first aid course.

The types of entry-level technical skills applicants are expected to be proficient in include, but are not limited to, the following: rope handling, knots, navigation, belaying/rappelling, basic crevasse/rock rescue, self-arresting with an ice-axe, and glacier travel. Applicants typically acquire these entry-level technical skills through a formal mountaineering course. Highly experienced mountaineers may substitute equivalent technical experience for a formal course, but this must be readily apparent on your application.

Special Exceptions

Acceptance by the Board without entry-level technical skills is uncommon. If you are in the process of completing a formal mountaineering course or feel that you are nearly qualified for entry, please email membership@tacomamountainrescue.org to explain your circumstances.

Administrative Positions

In addition, if you are interested in joining TMR in a more administrative role (such as grant-writing, fundraising, finance, etc.), please email membership@tacomamountainrescue.org with your interest.

TMR Application Process

The major steps of the application process for field support members include the following (in order):

  1. Fill out and return the “New Member Application” to membership@tacomamountainrescue.org.
  2. Complete a phone interview with the Membership Chair.
  3. Successfully pass a written and hands-on mountaineering skills test.
  4. Obtain a valid Washington State Department of Emergency Management (DEM) number.
  5. Receive TMR Board approval to join TMR.
  6. Pay Membership dues ($20 per year for your membership of MRA and WMRA as of March 2017)

Once the Membership Chair reviews an applicant’s application, the Membership Chair will schedule a phone interview with the applicant. The phone interview is intended to provide feedback to the applicant.

If the membership chair decides the applicant is potentially qualified, the Membership Chair will schedule the applicant to complete a mountaineering skills test (the applicant will receive additional information via email before the skills test). . By the day of the skills test, the applicant shall submit copies of the required certifications, listed below, to the Membership Chair.

If the applicant successfully completes the mountaineering skills test, the Membership Chair will provide the applicant with a DEM application (this is a separate, Pierce County application). Per Washington Administrative Code 118-04-080 and TMR Board decision, a valid DEM number is required for all TMR members to possess in order to participate in missions or field-trainings. All applicants must successfully pass a DEM background check and comply with State rules and regulations.

After an applicant completes all of the above steps and is issued a DEM number by Pierce County, the Membership Chair will present the application to the TMR Board for approval. If approved by the TMR Board, the applicant is required to pay membership dues and expected to participate in TMR events and trainings.

Required Certifications for the Application Process

The following certifications are required for the application process:

  1. Valid CPR/First Aid Card (or other medical certification).
  2. Completion of the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) Courses:

Please note, the FEMA NIMS ICS courses are free in cost and are available online to complete. It may take a few to several hours to complete, so it is highly recommended to begin/complete these courses early in the application process. If you have completed these courses before, you may be able to obtain copies of your completed certifications or student transcript by contacting the Emergency Management Institute at the FEMA website.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please email: membership@tacomamountainrescue.org.

TMR Application Process & Requirements

1. The following are required in order to start the TMR membership application process:

  • Successfully have finished a formal climbing course or have the equivalent training and experience
  • Fill out and return the “New Member Application” to membership@tacomamountainrescue.org
  • Phone interview with the Membership Chair

2. Please be sure to provide the following required certifications (if you have these certifications already, please feel free to send copies with your “New Member Application“):

  • Provide a copy of your valid CPR/First Aid Card, or other medical certifications
  • *Complete three Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) Courses and provide copies of the three certifications. The three required courses are IS-100.B, IS-200.B, and IS-700.A.  See sidebar for FEMA links.

3. Based on your application and phone interview, the Membership Chair will schedule a mountaineering skills test (applicant will receive additional information via email before test) Successfully pass a 50-question written, as well as a hands-on mountaineering skills test

4. After an applicant completes all of the above steps and submits required certifications, the Membership Chair presents this application to the TMR board for approval. If approved, applicants must: Pay membership dues (initial membership dues depends on the date of board approval) **Apply and obtain a valid Washington State Department of Emergency Management (DEM) number


Notes

* The three FEMA NIMS ICS courses are required by federal and Washington State rules and regulations. The courses provide an overview of search management and the governmental processes used in SAR. These courses are free in cost to take online and only need to be completed once. If you previously passed these courses, you can obtain copies of your certifications online. These courses may take a few hours to complete, so it is highly suggested to start the courses when you can.

**Per Washington Administrative Code 118-04-100 and Board decision, a valid DEM number is necessary for all members to participate in missions or field-trainings. A DEM number will provide coverage for each particular member during TMR events. All applicants must successfully pass a DEM background check and comply with State rules and regulations. TMR will provide applicants with the DEM application during the scheduled mountaineering skills test.