All Members not exclusively on the Base Unit are automatically on the Ground Unit.

Ground Unit members train in various methods of search proficiency to be able to respond to multiple conditions, weather, and terrain throughout the year. These methods include:

  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Teamwork skills
  • Search methods such as line search and hasty search, and searching at night.
  • First aid techniques, especially those relevant for wilderness locations.
  • Downed aircraft search with Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT)
  • Navigation, with GPS and map/compass
  • Radio communications
  • Air support interface (helicopters, planes)
  • Litter extraction (including low angle rope-assisted extractions)
  • Winter search and rescue, including cold weather travel, avalanche, hypothermia and more.
  • Swiftwater search and rescue
  • Crime scene preservation
  • Man-tracking
  • Survival skills

Our Full Members are required to achieve the New Mexico State Field Certification for Search & Rescue in order to meet the highest terms of professionalism for search & rescue volunteers.


The Ground Unit trains twice each month: one field training and one classroom training. The Ground Unit covers all the basics of search and rescue in-field operations.

When you join TSAR, you can belong to the Base Unit or the Ground Unit or both. These two units are our basic response units and everyone on the team belongs to one or both of these basic units. Beyond the Base and Ground Units, TSAR also has 8 other specialty response units that members additionally are welcome to join.