Hamilton Search and Rescue recognises several roles, each requiring different strengths, skills and training. They may also have different needs for physical fitness, and their availability for search and rescue operations.

Field Team Member

Field team members are capable of applying search techniques to locate the lost and missing, and first aid and stretcher management to assist those who are injured.

A keen eye for detail, diversity of thought, resilience, flexibility and being able to operate in a small team are essential attributes for field team volunteers.

Volunteers should be fit enough to carry a 24 hour pack, plus some search and rescue team equipment, for 8 hours across mixed terrain. The ability to look after themself and others in all weathers in the outdoors is critical.

Field Team volunteers are 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 also take on additional responsbilities as a Field Team Leader.

Field Team Leaders manage others within their team, including having accountability and responsibility for safely managing their team members, undertaking (or refusing to undertake) their task, recording and reporting of task outcomes.

Specialised Disciplines

LandSAR also involves several specialised disciplines which are developed in regions that require them, but also provide support regionally and nationally:
Search Dogs (Avalanche and Wilderness), Alpine Cliff Rescue (ACR), Swift Water/River (RiverSAR), Cave (CaveSAR), and Canyon (CanyonSAR).

Incident Management

The Incident Management Team (IMT) plans and manages search and rescue operations. It is led by the coordinating authority for the operation, which is normally New Zealand Police.
Volunteers who serve on the IMT have extensive experience in search and rescue operations or expertise in a field upon which the IMT depends, such as logistics, intelligence, public information management, welfare or safety.
IMT volunteers are valued for their planning, diversity of thought and decision making abilities.


Admin Support or Mission Support Unit provide services to the IMT and the deployed field teams during a search and rescue operation, and help our groups operate.
It is a vital role and search and rescue operations cannot function without it.
These support services may include computer and data management, use of communications systems and logging communications, passage of information, issuing of equipment, mapping and tracking teams, organising transport and movements, and organising replenishments and meals.

Management Committee

Our group cannot function without leadership,
strategic direction, routine management and governance.
Volunteers with experience in management, accounts, fundraising and volunteer organisation are invaluable to ensure our group is efficiently and appropriately run.