Joining BRMRG does not require any experience! We will train you on everything you need to know. All that's required is a willingness to learn!
There are no dues for being a BRMRG member. Background checks are covered and travel to/from searches can be reimbursed. Your only costs are in buying the required equipment. Depending on what you already have at home, this cost will vary. We recommend starting with the basics and upgrading your collection as you get more experience.
The basic training we provide includes: Navigation and Orienteering; Wilderness Survival; Patient Packaging and Transport; Semi-technical Rescue; Basic Climbing and Rappelling; Radio Communications and Dispatch; and Team Leadership. We try to have a Wilderness First-Aid and CPR course once a year.
Interested members are welcome and encouraged to continue their training outside of our weekly meetings. In the past, BRMRGers have trained in advanced search and rescue topics like special resources handling (K-9 or equine teams), emergency medicine, incident management, and technical rescue. Older members can help direct you to various outside trainings.
We usually hold indoor training on Tuesdays at 7:00pm-8:00pm, and outdoor training every Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Check the schedule for more information.
No formal time commitment is required; however if you miss many trainings the group training officer may decide you are unable to attend searches. The only way to stay proficient at skills like semi-technical rescue and patient packaging is regular practice.
In order to stay an active member in good standing one must attend at least four events (trainings or missions) per year, in addition to any other applicable requirements for maintaining your certifications.
Searches are unpredictable and vary from month to month. In the past, we have gone for a stretch of time with no missions at all, followed by several callouts in a single week. We average 2-3 callouts per month.
Have fun! Past events on our social calendar have included outdoor fun like hiking, climbing, canoeing, and caving expeditions as well as indoor parties, football tailgates, and barbecues. Members often bring family and friends. If you have ideas for what we could do, let us know!
Because BRMRG is a volunteer group, often school or work prevents members from making it to a search. Joining BRMRG does not obligate you to respond if you are too busy. There are usually other ways to help with searches, such as running group dispatch.
Because BRMRG operates throughout Virginia and portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina, searches will not necessarily be around Charlottesville. When you respond to a search, we will make sure you have a way of getting there. Members often carpool to searches, even when they do own a vehicle themselves.