Tactical Element

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue

Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) is a 47-hour program of instruction, is the second, intermediate level of National Association for Search and Rescue (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 search and rescue (SAR) mission.

The FUNSAR course also provides the course participant with practical exercises in addition to a practice search mission where the course participant is required to have the proper equipment and stay out in the field during daylight and nighttime operations. The course content includes topics in three major areas: survival and 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.

FUNSAR is the NASAR course designed to prepare the course participant to challenge the SARTECH II certification exam, according to the knowledge objectives defined in the NASAR certification criteria for SARTECH II.


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
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


Introduction to Search and Rescue course and SARTECH III certification


47 Hours

Instructors assigned to the Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) course are seasoned Search and Rescue Technician II (SARTECH II) Instructors and Evaluators possessing verified and documented experience in the execution of search and rescue operations.

Instructor Training Jackets (ITJ) are maintained by Tactical Element and available for review.

National Association for Search and Rescue Search and Rescue Technician II (written examination required)

Maximum = 24



1. Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR)


1. The most current edition of the Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR) textbook was released in 2005. Previous editions of the textbook will not prepare one to challenge the FUNSAR examination or the SARTECH II certification.

2. FUNSAR continues forward regardless the weather (w/ exception of lightning).

3. During Tactical Operations Series programs of instruction the goal is to train as close as possible to reality.  Live irritants and impact weapons are not allowed.  Unless otherwise advised, service ammunition and weapons are neither necessary nor permitted at any training site, at any time during any Tactical Element program of instruction! UTM weapon systems and ammunition will be supplied by Tactical Element only.