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Training Courses



Orientations are held in the weeks and months leading up to course 1 in November. If you have questions about joining please send us a message from the contact page!

Please fill out this form to RSVP! Orientation Sign up

  • September 3rd 7:00pm Bonney Lake Library

  • September 11th 6:00pm Puyallup Public Library

  • September 19th TBD

  • September 23rd TBD

  • September 27th TBD

  • October 1st (Virtual) 

  • October 11th TBD

  • October 22nd TBD

  • October 29th TBD


Course 1

Course 1 serves as an introduction to ESAR.  Scheduled in November, this classroom course teaches the basics of many techniques required for SAR field personnel, including map and compass skills, a basic understanding of search techniques, and the types of equipment necessary for SAR missions.  The course also gives suggestions for purchasing and storing equipment, and teaches our organization's rules and regulations. Course 1 runs approximately 7:00am-5:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see what to bring to course 1.

  • Location: Frontier Park - 21718 Meridian Ave E, Graham, WA 98338

  • Start Time: 7:00am

  • Course 1A: November 2-3 2024

  • Course 1B: November 16-17 2024


SAR Oriented First Aid

The SAR Oriented first aid course takes place in December and satisfies the wilderness first aid component of our training program. This course includes lectures and hands-on practice with patient assessment and treatment in a wilderness setting and allows trainees to begin to develop their first aid skills while working within a SAR team with SAR equipment. ESAR members are also required to maintain a current First Aid & CPR card. This card can be from any agency such as the Red Cross or American Heart Association.  ESAR also offers classes to all membership. The first aid course runs approximately 9:00am-4:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

  • Course A: December 7-8 2024

  • Course B: December 14-15 2024


Course 2

Course 2 is a hands-on approach to studying the concepts involved in search and rescue. The weekend begins Friday night, and lasts until early afternoon Sunday. The trainees spend the weekend in teams, living out of their packs, and battling the harsh conditions of January in the Northwest. On Saturday, they rotate around the campground attending a series of stations, each of which focuses on a different skill associated with SAR. Saturday evening trainees break into pairs to complete a number of nighttime compass legs. On Sunday, they continue their stations, and conclude the weekend with a mock search. Course 2 runs approximately 7:00pm Friday to 4:00pm Sunday.

  • Course 2A: January 3-5 2025

  • Course 2B: January 17-19 2025


Course 3

Course 3 is primarily a test of endurance, but also tests map and compass techniques, motivation, and teamwork. The trainees are paired up and given a list of coordinates.  Their objective is to attend each one of the coordinates in the order given before the weekend is up. Each pair will travel about 15 miles, assuming they choose the most efficient route from point to point. Course 3 usually takes place in February. Course 3 runs approximately 7:00pm Friday to 4:00pm Sunday.

  • Course 3A: February 7-9 2025

  • Course 3B: February 21-23 2025


Course 4

Course 4 is a mock search. Saturday morning, trainees go to stations where they practice patient assessment, packaging, and search techniques. Saturday afternoon, trainees are assigned to teams, and they complete a search assignment just as if it were an actual search. On Sunday, once all the subjects have been found, treated, and evacuated, the training is over, and the trainees become certified Brushmonkeys.  This course usually takes place in March. Course 4 runs approximately 7:00am Saturday to 5:00pm Sunday.

  • Course 4: March 22-23 2025


Winter Training

Winter training provides an opportunity for certified Brushmonkeys to practice traveling and operating in a snow environment. During this overnight course participants snowshoe hike to a location and practice building snow caves that they stay in overnight. This is an optional advanced training for certified Brushmonkeys only.


Associate Member

For those that do not want to go through training or have not started training yet. These members are eligible to help with administrative tasks, rig maintenance, and attend unit events.

Course 1 - Apprentice Trainee

Following Course 1 you are eligible to attend all evidence searches within Pierce County

Course 2 - Support Member

Following Course 2 you are eligible to attend all urban searches in Pierce County

Course 3 - Conditional Brush Monkey

Following Course 3 you are eligible to attend all searches in Pierce County

Course 4 - Brush Monkey

After completing Course 4 you are eligible to attend any search the unit responds to


What do I need to have?


What to bring to course 1?

  • Warm clothing appropriate for the day's weather. Some portions of the course are outdoors.

  • $175 training fee - Cash, Check, Credit/Debit card, Venmo, Paypal

    • This goes toward course materials for all 4 courses, WFA certification, training manual, insurance, and a compass (accurate to 2 degrees with sighting mirror).

      • Subtract $40 if you have a compass that meets qualifications​

      • Subtract $15 if you have a first aid kit that meets qualifications

  • Certificates of completion for NIMS ICS-100, NIMS ICS-200, NIMS IS-700 and NIMS IS-800.

  • Be prepared to have your photo taken for an ID badge. 

  • Parents of youth will need to stay for the first couple hours Saturday morning to complete paperwork and learn about required equipment.


What gear do I need for courses 2, 3, 4?

  • You will need your 48 hour pack for courses 2, 3, and 4! 

  • Please do not buy anything prior to course 1! We will go over what you will need, different places to get it, etc.

  • A packing list can be dowloaded below!

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