First Response is a 501(c)3, tax exempt, volunteer organization. This means that we have no paid staff or members. All members donate their time, talent, and resources to make our service to the community a reality.
First Response is not the largest search team in Texas and that is intentional. We understand the training it takes to be a professional, to be the best, and we focus on your success to assure a quality resource for the victim we serve. If you have looked at other search teams and seen some claiming to have 20 to 30 canines and even more field search members, you have to ask yourself, "how can they train to any level of expertise with that many members, meeting only once per week for a few hours?" Obviously, their instructors can't devote the personal time needed to meet any real level of quality, we can.
Our members are trained to meet and exceed the NASAR Search and Rescue Technician (SAR-Tech) certification requirements. We assist agencies in a wide variety of search situations; lost, missing, abducted, elderly walk away's, and local disaster situations such as the 2000 F3 tornado in Ft. Worth, Texas. Where we were tasked to manage all volunteer search and rescue resources for the Tarrant County OEM and Ft. Worth Fire Department.
. . . that others may live.
These things we do . . .
If you think you would like to become a searcher, maybe even a canine handler, here's the steps to begin:
1. Review our Frequently Asked Questions for New Members. CLICK HERE
Call our non-emergency number for a current schedule. (If you have a canine, leave them at home, this is your time.)
3. Complete an application. For a PDF download copy. CLICK HERE
4. Complete the background check process through Verified Volunteers, instructions are included with the application.
5. If accepted, you will be given instructions to complete your initial online training.
6. Once your online training is completed you will attend a team orientation meeting. If you are still interested, having full knowledge of what is expected. An annual member fee ($100 per year, tax deductible) will begin January 1, 2017 . (The member fee covers the operating cost of team expenses.) Do not rush out and buy anything. We have vendors who offer equipment and uniforms at a discount. Besides, it is less expensive to buy the right item, once, the first time.
SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM
Together, we can make a difference.
Ordinary people extraordinary results
Your donations help make this a reality.
First Response is not a "club", we are an emergency response resource for law enforcement and other official agencies. The corporation is managed by a Board of Directors like any other business. Not everyone who applies for membership is accepted. Due to the nature of the work we perform, all candidates for membership are back ground checked and interviewed before being accepted into our training program. We can not accept applications from anyone convicted of a felony, violent crime, or field response applicants under the age of 18.
Members are responsible to purchase their own gear and uniforms. We provide the majority of your training, having a wide range of instructors on staff. Costs for outside additional training and certifications would be your responsibility. Members must understand that calls for assistance come anytime, day or night, and in any kind of weather. They must maintain their gear and uniform ready for immediate response. It takes someone special to go search at 2am, knowing they have to go to their regular employment in the morning.