Membership – Join SARTI


SARTI is an all-volunteer organization. No member of SARTI is paid for training or search mission response. To join the team for extra tracking training, you may want to look into the “Associate” membership below. If you plan on joining to respond to search missions, check out the “Active” membership section below.

SARTI is always looking for new members. Whether you’re considering joining to further your training in the art & science of tracking, or interested in becoming an active member who can respond to missing person incidents, the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute would welcome your participation whether you have had any prior training or not.

How to Join

If you would like to begin the process of becoming a member of SARTI you can download and fill out a membership application here.

Please bring the completed application to one of SARTI’s training events (see our calendar or email training[at]sarti[dot]us) or use our contact page to find out where to mail it. Members must obtain a background check and go through a probationary period before becoming active members of the group.

Membership Requirements

There is no membership or prior training requirement to attend your first training to see if you are interested in the group.

Associate Member

If you would like to attend additional training events after the first one, we request that you join SARTI as an associate member. That is done by submitting an application along with a $10 per year associate membership dues payment. Associate membership status has no attendance requirements, but allows you to attend as many or as few trainings as you want. The $10 dues go toward securing training venues and helping us maintain the website.

Active Member

Active membership means that a person has met the requirements to be able to respond to missing person searches as a member of SARTI. Personnel seeking an active membership status must submit an application along with a $20 per year active membership dues payment. There is a minimum 6-month probationary period and additional Search and Rescue training requirements (CPR/First aid, NIMS courses, Field Team Member training, etc – see Certifications) that must be met before active membership status is achieved.


Currently SARTI is transitioning from our old certification levels (Walker/Trainee, SARTI Field Team Signcutter, and Operational Tracker) to the new VDEM Tracker certification levels (Operational Tracker, Tracking Technician, Tracking Specialist). These standards were approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia and reflect our continued commitment to providing qualified trackers as resources for SAR missions. Check out the Certifications page for more info.