Bush Search and Rescue Victoria is open to members of Bushwalking Victoria clubs and Bushwalking Victoria Individual Members who meet the experience and age entry requirements listed below. The entry requirements basically ensure that members are competent and experienced bushwalkers, ready to receive specific training in search and rescue techniques.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to meet the following entry requirements.

  • Age:  Applicants must be at least18 years of age.
  • Experience:  A minimum of 16 full days of bushwalking, undertaken in recent years, including pack carrying for one or more continuous periods of at least 4 days plus at least 4 other overnight walks. One of the overnight walks must have been in adverse weather conditions and another involved walking and/or camping in snowfall.
  • Navigation:  Applicants must be competent in off-track navigation, be able to give and interpret grid references, be conversant with orienting a map using a compass and relate map to terrain.
  • Equipment:  Each applicant must be fully equipped for off track walking and camping and must be willing to keep their equipment in good condition.
  • Fitness:  Applicants must be capable of prolonged heavy scrub-bashing on steep slopes. Searching imposes greater mental and physical demands than normal bushwalking or ski touring.
  • Leave: It is necessary that applicants have suitable arrangements with their employers for leave during searches.

Useful Additional Skills

Other skills are recognised with BSAR, but are not mandatory. These skills are listed on the Application for Membership Form and upon applying you should identify the level of skill you have attained in each of the following additional areas.

Leadership Experience
• Qualified – Outdoor leadership graduate/staff member or equivalent
• Club Leader – Club Leader of your bushwalking club

First Aid Experience
• Medical practitioner
• Paramedic
• Wilderness First Aid or Australian Ski Patrol Association
• Current First Aid Certificate

Skiing Experience
• Applicants of suitable ability are classed as intermediate or advanced skiers.
• Beginner skiers and people who have not skied with a pack are excluded from this category.

Ice Climbing Experience
• New Zealand technical mountaineering course or equivalent
• Competent with ice axe & crampons

See frequently asked questions for more information about what is required to join Bush Search and Rescue and to participate with searches.

It would be great to see more people involved in Bush Search and Rescue, so please consider participating in our very worthwhile volunteer community service.

How to join Bush Search and Rescue

Option 1
If you are a member of one of the many clubs that are members of Bushwalking Victoria then, in due course, be nominated by your club committee to join Bush Search and Rescue.

  • You can view a list of clubs here then follow the link to a club for contact and joining details.
  • Membership application form via a BWV Bushwalking Club [doc] [pdf]

Option 2
Or you can join Bushwalking Victoria as an Individual Member

  • Details and a Bushwalking Victoria membership application form are here.
  • Once you have joined Bushwalking Victoria you can apply to join Bush Search and Rescue using the Individual BWV members BSAR application form  [doc] [pdf]