Search and Rescue requires skilled individuals and teamwork, during and between operations. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, all coming together to train and provide their services for the lost, missing and injured.


Hamilton Search and Rescue recognises several roles, each requiring different strengths, skills and training. Visit the roles page for full details for each of the roles described briefly below.

  • Field Team Member – called upon to conduct search and rescue operations that can occur at any time of the day or night.
  • Field Team Leader – experienced field team members can take on additional responsibilities as a Field Team Leader.
  • Specialised Disciplines – including Search Dogs, Cave & Canyon SAR (and more), are developed in regions as required, but also provide support regionally and nationally.
  • Incident Management Team – plans and manages search and rescue operations. It is led by the coordinating authority for the operation, which is normally New Zealand Police.
  • Support – Admin or Mission Support units provide vital services to the IMT and deployed field teams to help our groups operate.
  • Management Committee – our group cannot function without leadership, strategic direction, routine management and governance.


Hamilton Search and Rescue trains regularly to develop and maintain the required skills for search and rescue operations in our region.

We leverage capability within our group, neighbouring LandSAR groups, and the national LandSAR organisation on topics such as:

  • Navigation
  • First Aid
  • Stretcher management and rope safety
  • Search techniques
  • Suburban searching
  • Track and clue awareness
  • Communicaitons
  • Incident management
  • and more.

Safety & Wellbeing

With our volunteers being in the outdoors for extended periods, often accessing difficult terrain, risk management and safety is of great importance. Safety is integrated into training and operational procedures, including the effects of fatigue.

Search and rescue operations can present distressing or traumatic events so all volunteers have access to support locally, as well as access to confidential professional assistance to navigate challenges arising from search and rescue activities and in their day to day lives.


Operational volunteers are called upon to conduct search and rescue operations that can occur at any time of the day or night. Volunteers’ families and whānau, and employers should all be comfortable with this possibility.

The quantity, timing and duration of operations can vary. It is recognised that not all volunteers can respond to operations every time, but regular attendance at training is required to grow and maintain skill levels.

Hamilton Search and Rescue meet regularly on two evenings each month for training, with other training courses occuring on weekends (online and 1-2 day duration in-person, scheduled in advance throughout the year) and larger training exercises once or twice each year.

Hamilton Search and Rescue are typically involved with 10 to 20 callouts each year.

Apply to Join

If you’d like to join the Hamilton LandSAR group, please complete our application process and we’ll be in touch.