Information for Military Personnel

Seeking to Enter the SARTECH Trade

So... You Want To Be A SARTECH ?

NOTICE: Rescue Dynamics is not a part of the Canadian Forces, nor is this information in any way authorized or endorsed by the Canadian Forces or CFSSAR. This information is a statement of opinion only. You are encouraged to contact your Canadian Forces recruiter or career manager or the personnel at CFSSAR for details of applying for and entering the trade of Search and Rescue Technician in the Canadian military.

Every year we get a number of requests for information from Canadian Forces personnel who are attempting to enter the prestigious trade of military "Search and Rescue Technician" or SARTECH. As most prospective SARTECHs know, it is not an easy trade to get into and the training, once begun, is quite difficult. Those who are serious about the trade have already learned about the years of previous service required and the fact that often a vast number of people apply and only a very few are selected to begin the actual training. The reason people often get in contact with us is that they are looking for ways to enhance their current experience and beef up their resume to give themselves a better shot at entering the trade. You not only have to be good enough to get into the trade, you have to be better than the rest of the applicants when a limited number of positions are available. The Canadian Forces does not want to invest time, training and dollars in bringing in people who won't succeed in the training and in the real world. The side benefit of training you take before you enter the trade is that it may also reduce some of the intensity of learning new material during the actual TQ5 course.

Why do people contact us in particular? Many people know that Rescue Dynamics has trained SARTECHs for over thirty years in the mountain phase of their training. This puts us in the unique position of actually "knowing" what the SARTECHs learn in the mountain phase of the courses. We know because we train them! We also know very well what the Canadian Forces SARTECHs are about and what their role is once they are posted to one of the bases across the country. We are familiar with Canadian SAR in general and the Canadian Forces SARTECHs in particular.

Rescue, Climbing, Emergency Response and SAR training IS what we do. We not only talk about rescue, but we have been in real rescue situations in the mountains, in avalanche terrain and in the back of an ambulance. There are not many people who can make that claim and have the experience with SARTECHs as well as being internationally certified as mountain guides. This may have a lot to do with why the SARTECHs have chosen to contract us and why Parks Canada through the Portage College contracted us to train National Park Wardens in the PER course as well. Experience, Education, Background, Instructional Technique, Certification and a committment to train the best SAR personnel in the country. That is why people contact us!

The most commonly asked question is, "What courses do you offer that would help a person get into the trade and also help once they start their training?" One way to answer this is to describe what is taught to SARTECHs and prospective SARTECHs in the mountain phase of the TQ5 and 6A courses. First of all, recognize that each mountain phase is two to three "intensive" weeks in duration and material is covered at a very rapid pace. (TQ5 = 2 weeks / TQ6A = 3 weeks) Some material is learned beforehand in earlier parts of the SAR training, so not everything in the mountain phase is new. It is also important to realize that by the time people hit the mountain phase they are ready for the hard work required to succeed. It is generally true that you couldn't take a person off the street and teach them the same course as you teach a SARTECH and expect success. SARTECHs are NOT ordinary people, plus they have previous training before they get to the mountains. Having said that, here are some civilian courses we offer and how they relate to elements of the SARTECH TQ5 and 6A courses. If you want to enhance your chances for getting accepted into the training and have a leg up in the mountain phase, these are some of the courses you may want to consider.

A typical Team Member Course - Mountain Phase contains some of these elements:

A typical Team Leader Course - Mountain Phase contains some of these elements:

Waterfall Ice climbing and Alpine Ski Touring are now a part of the TM and TL courses. It is therefore foreseeable that the following courses would be beneficial to a prospective SARTECH or an operational SARTECH wishing to enhance their skills in this expanding area.

Parting Thoughts

If you have read this far on this page you are likely serious about the SARTECH trade and the honour of working so "That Others May Live". Don't expect any of the training to be easy and don't expect that anyone but yourself will get you to the end of the training and earn your wings. You need to be mentally and physically tough, fit, confident, self-reliant and willing to take charge when the chips are down. SARTECHs work in small teams and every member has to pull their own weight. If you think you have what it takes, we may be able to help you get a couple more steps down the path to the red beret. Taking one of our courses (or anyone elses for that matter) won't guarantee that you will get into the trade or succeed once you are in it, but the more directed training you attend, the better your odds. What are you waiting for, pick a course and start training!

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Rescue Dynamics
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5

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Last updated Monday, May 29, 2023