Preventative Search and Rescue Volunteer

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ORGANIZATION: National Park Service

Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) Volunteer

Summary of Duties - Our PSAR volunteers serve on the front line, assisting in creating a safe and enjoyable recreational experience for all park visitors. Volunteers do this by providing park information with a focus on hiking safety and aiding visitors as necessary.

  • May be stationed at a trailhead, on a roving hiking patrol, or a combination of the two during a typical day. Our volunteers are expected to maintain a positive attitude and a willingness to assist visitors by proactively providing trail information, hazard information, hiking safety messaging, Leave No Trace, and other general park information.
  • If the volunteer encounters a hiker who appears to be ill prepared for their intended route, they will work with the visitor to help them develop an alternative plan which matches their preparedness, capabilities, and interests. If the hiker is not willing to alter their plans, the volunteer should provide education on the signs/symptoms and dangers of environmental exposure such as dehydration and heat illness.
  • PSAR volunteers will maintain a log of visitor contacts and daily activities.
  • All park volunteers should report violations of law or park regulation via radio or cellphone to park staff as soon as safe and practical.
  • PSAR volunteers will also assist with general park operations to include compiling visitor use data, project work, assistance with search and rescue (SAR), traffic control, and special events. Must be willing to provide basic emergency assistance such as first aid/CPR until further help arrives.
  • Must wear NPS volunteer uniform and present a positive image of the NPS.

Environmental Conditions - Volunteers should be prepared for a variety of weather while working outside. GUMO weather patterns can vary drastically and change rapidly in elevations ranging from 3,000 feet to 8,000+ feet. Spring and summer seasons bring warm weather with 80-100 degree daytime temps and occasional showers, while fall and winter bring colder temperatures with high winds that can reach over 70+ mph. Snow and freezing fog is also common during the cooler months of December through February.

Qualifications - Must be at least 18 years old, enjoy working with people from varied backgrounds, be willing to learn about the park, and aid park visitors.

Physical Requirements - PSAR Volunteers are expected to be capable solo hikers with experience safely navigating on trail up to 10 miles per day. Should be able to carry at least 35 pounds unassisted over uneven terrain.

Training - PSAR, Search and Rescue, First aid, and CPR training will be provided.

Equipment - All necessary equipment will be provided to accomplish expected duties apart from pants/shorts and footwear.

Housing - Park housing or RV sites may be available for volunteers willing to provide 32 hours of service per week.

Available Dates -We have opportunities for PSAR volunteers during the summer months June-September and winter months of December-February.

Start Date - 2024-05-25

End Date - 2025-05-25

Activities include: Back Country/Wilderness;General Assistance;Trail/Campground Maintenance;Visitor Information

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About National Park Service


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Mission Statement

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.


The U.S. National Park Service,, cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. We care for more than 400 national parks and help communities preserve their historic places and open spaces.


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