How To Get Involved

Portland Mountain Rescue is an all-volunteer organization and we are looking for skilled people, 18 years or older, to add to the team. New members may be accepted into two roles – Trainee or Associate.

Trainee Level Members

Once they have met specific requirements and have current medical certifications (minimum of First Aid & CPR), Trainee level members of Portland Mountain Rescue are considered field-deployable. Depending on knowledge and experience, these members may be used in some types of search and rescue missions involving extended periods of time in hazardous conditions, carrying heavy gear and assist with complex rope rigging configurations. Accordingly, Trainees must display adequate technical competence and physical conditioning in order to safely operate in the field. They also must train regularly to improve their abilities and learn the specialized skills involved in mountain search and rescue.

Technical Competence:
PMR members are expected to exhibit safe climbing, technical and survival skills at all times. To become a PMR Trainee, applicants must be fluent in the following skills:

Basic Map and Compass Use
• Given bearings to known features, locate position on a map
• Take a bearing from a map and follow it
• Give latitude & longitude, and UTM positions

Basic Alpine Climbing
• Objective hazard evaluation
• Rock and snow anchors
• Common belay methods
• Climbing high angle rock and snow with exposure
• Ice axe arrest

Glacier Travel
• Objective hazard evaluation
• Roped travel
• Circumventing crevasses
• Leapfrogging
• Snow anchors
• Crevasse Rescue

Knot Craft
• Various forms of figure-8 knots
• Water knot
• M√ľnter and clove hitches
• Prusiks
• Fisherman’s knot
• Bowline knot

Wilderness Survival in an Alpine Environment
• Clothing needs
• Route finding and safety
• Assessing avalanche-prone terrain and risks
• High altitude disorders (HACE, HAPE, etc.)
• Emergency shelter construction
• Identifying hypothermia, frostbite, heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Physical Conditioning:
Due to the extreme conditions and long hours involved in search and rescue missions, all field-deployable members (including Trainees) are expected to be physically strong and aerobically fit. This allows each member to safely contribute to the team effort and avoid jeopardizing the mission.

Regular physical exercise that is designed to maintain and improve your strength and aerobic conditioning is very important. Though the Rescue and Support level PMR members do not monitor your training regime, we do watch how you perform in field situations. The veteran members will advise a Trainee on their physical conditioning when warranted, but Trainees are expected to maintain good conditioning on their own. This assures your own safety, as well as the safety of the team.

Initial Training Requirements:
After a prospective Trainee is accepted as a non-field-deployable Trainee, but before the Trainee may participate in any missions, the new member must complete the following steps:

1. Attend at least one classroom training session.
2. Attend at least one field training session.
3. Provide copies of current CPR card and medical training card with at least a Basic First Aid certification level.
4. Successfully complete on-line ICS 100 and NIMS 700 Training.

The new member must advance to field-deployable status by January 1st of the year following acceptance into PMR.

Annual Training:
After completing the initial training requirements successfully, Trainees must complete an annual training regimen. Though new members are expected to already have good climbing and survival skills before joining the team, they must train regularly to learn and develop the specialized skills of mountain search and rescue.

  • Our two-year Training Academy begins in September
    of even-numbered years.
  • The PMR Training Year is September 1 until August 31.
  • The Application submission cutoff date is July 15 ofthe year in which a new Academy begins.
  • It may take time for applicants to be contactedregarding their application status.

Training requirements for all three field-deployable levels are shown below, with the Trainee level highlighted in red:

  Trainee Support Rescue
Minimum Annual Hours of Training 30 Hours 30 Hours 30 Hours
Minimum Medical Skills CPR & Basic First Aid Certification CPR & Basic First Aid Certification CPR & Basic First Aid Certification
High-Angle Rock and Snow Evacuation Skills 10 credit hours of PMR or equivalent training 10 credit hours of PMR  training 10 credit hours of PMR  training
Highline Skills NOT required for advancement to Support Required for advancement to Rescue Class or Field Session annually

Note: You must have at least the minimum credit hours noted above to comply with the Portland Mountain Rescue and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association training requirements. Hours will be logged on a training year basis. A new member has 2 training years to advance to Support Level.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a PMR Trainee? If so, please visit the Application Process section for instructions.

Associate Level Members

Though not allowed in the field during search and rescue missions, Associate level members provide essential “behind the scenes” support for our operations.

Associate level members contribute toward the overall mission in a variety of important roles including equipment and vehicle maintenance, fundraising, public education, IT support, event planning, publication design, financial planning, specialized training, truck driving, base support and assorted administrative functions. If you feel you have talent to offer which is not listed above please feel free to contact

PMR recognizes the value of a volunteer’s commitment to serve. For that reason we feel strongly that every Associate should have a job within the organization. Service may be regular or periodic in nature depending on the position. Applications are requested as openings and opportunities are created.

PMR is currently seeking Associate applications for the following positions:

No openings are identified at this time. Thanks for your interest and please check back for future opportunities.

Applications will be evaluated based on qualifications for the specific positions available.

Would you like to contribute to the team as an Associate? If so, please visit the Application Process section for instructions.