BECOME A MEMBER
Becoming a member of the Virginia Airborne Search & Rescue is as rewarding as it is challenging. During your time as a member you'll be trained in your specific role and cross-trained in others, giving you a broad experience spectrum in the squad.
Click HERE for the new member application
The requirements to become a VASAR pilot are:
- 500 Hours of Documented Flight Time
- Current Class III Medical
- Current Biennial Flight Review
- Completion of the Robinson Safety Course for the R44
- Time and willingness to train in aerial search & rescue, first aid, navigation, maritime, search, electronic search and UAS operations.
- A desire to volunteer time to be on-call to respond when called upon
All pilots are trained as VASAR Flight Officers before they are trained as a pilot.
Flight Officers are the heartbeat of the aircrew. They coordinate the search efforts from above with a comprehensive suite of communications equipment, ensuring that ground units can be guided towards a located search victim in a timely manner. Flight Officers come from many backgrounds such as aviation, law enfocement, fire/EMS, emergency management, military, government and the private sector. VASAR will provide all necessary training to become a certified VASAR Flight Officer.
The requirements to become a VASAR Flight Officer are:
- Good overall physical fitness, eyesight and hearing
- Ability to read and understand a variety of maps and charts
- A willingness to learn about maps, maritime charts, radio chatter, aerial search, first aid, the national airspace system, UAS operations, survival equipment and helicopter operations
- The ability to be on-call to respond when called upon by partner agencies and citizens
Your training at VASAR will help you develop and hone these skills.
Upon completion of your VASAR indoctrination training, Project Lifesaver certification, CPR/AED certification and several training flights you will be "winged" as a certified VASAR Flight Officer. The process can take as little as a month for strong candidates. On average the process takes 1 to 2 months.
Air Support members take on many non-flying roles at VASAR. They specialize in various jobs such as running command and control, vehicle maintenance, fundraising efforts, administrative duties, Project Lifesaver ground search, landing zone setup, forward deployments and many other tasks. Air Support members provide crucial support to air crews and help complete the multi-faceted VASAR team.
The requirements to become an Air Support member are:
- A willingness to training in multiple VASAR missions, partake in fundraising efforts and participate in the monthly meeting and training drills