• I have to be retired or active military.
Not at all. Most of our adult members do not have a military background. We are a civilian an auxiliary to the US Air Force. We do have honorary rank titles based upon time in service and accomplishments.
• I have to be a pilot.
Not at all. Only about10-20% of our members are active pilots. Most positions do not require pilot skills. Like any organization, we need administrators, teachers, logistics, I.T., ground transportation, finance, communications and more as well as pilots.
Our Emergency Services function includes both land based and airborne missions. Flight Search and Rescue missions normally have a crew of three or four people, only one is required to be a pilot. The crew includes:
• One or two Mission Scanners charged with searching visually and electronically searching for the distressed party. The scanner also keeps a detailed log of the search pattern and observations.
• A Mission Observer responsible for both assisting in pilot and the scanner.
• Pilot - Responsible for safely flying a search pattern as directed by the ground Incident Command staff.
• In addition to the flight crews, we have ground based search and rescue. These crews also provide post-disaster damage surveys both in the field and by analyzing aerial photographs.
• I don’t know how to do any of this.
We have training for everything! Most is on-line learning, but there are plenty of face-to-face learning opportunities. All new members are assigned a mentor to help.
• What do I get paid?
Nothing. We are all volunteers. Your reward is multi-faceted:
• Satisfaction in helping others
• Sense of accomplishment in learning new skills
• Being part of a team