Whether you’re an avid hiker, know your way around boats or vehicles, or are an expert at feeding large groups, Halifax Search & Rescue relies on a variety of skills at all times and welcomes your involvement.

Volunteer Roles

Volunteering at Halifax Search & Rescue fulfills a variety of interests and areas of specialization—be they related to on-the-ground searching, managing the logistics of a search and rescue operation, educating the public, organizing fundraising events or working behind the scenes to assist with the administration of the organization. Orienteering, digital mapping, cooking, management, tracking, mechanical know-how, first aid, radio communications, event planning, fundraising, boating, accounting, IT, grant writing—the list of goes on. Volunteer expertise at HSAR is numerous and varied, and all roles are vital to supporting the HSAR team.

The HSAR Volunteer

It is incredibly rewarding to assist someone in times of need. Halifax Search & Rescue volunteers rally in these times with skill, strategy and precision to execute search and rescue operations 24/7, 365 days a year. We are one of the most active search and rescue teams in North America per capita.

Most search and rescue operations focus on locating and rescuing lost people, and these incidents are rarely convenient or known to the public. Searches often occur at night, off trail in rough terrain, and in challenging weather conditions. HSAR team members are willing and able to respond in these conditions, and understand that responding to a search is a priority. While we have fun as a team, we are not a club or an avenue for training. Halifax Search & Rescue is an emergency response organization that requires a substantial and consistent commitment throughout the year.

Join the Team

Halifax Search & Rescue is always looking for good people. Twice a year, we host a Prospective Volunteer Information Session for anyone interested in joining the team. These sessions are the best times to visit the base, meet team members, and start the application process. We look forward to meeting you!

Volunteer Information Sessions:

New Volunteer Recruitment – Open until January 2, 2023

On or before January 2nd, click the link below to watch the video and follow the instructions therein to register for in-person session on January 11th at 7pm, the next step in the application process.

Available Positions:

1) Field Responder (e.g. Searcher)

Searchers are our “boots on the ground” who respond to callouts 24/7, 365 days a year, as available. Searchers spend significant time in the woods, almost exclusively off-trail, and at night. Searchers must provider their own equipment and clothing. These members must be in good physical condition, and able to carry a heavy pack through wilderness terrain for extended periods of time. Weekly training is expected, as well as high attendance to callouts.

Basic Requirements:

All candidates must be at least 19 years of age, Canadian citizens or permanent residents, have reliable access to a car, and pass a criminal records check.

Learn More / Apply

If you are interested in learning more, and/or potentially applying, please click the below link to watch the 90-minute introductory video. To apply, follow the instructions contained therein.

Note that this video is from last year, so the COVID-19 comments are not relevant anymore, but the video works well, so we are using it again!


Please note that the video and subsequent application process will only be open until January 2 2023. Only individuals who have watched the entire video and followed the included instructions will be able to proceed with applying to join the team.

Have a question? Check out the FAQ for answers to some of our most common questions.