YSAR is a three year training programme consisting of outdoor education, search and rescue and emergency response methodolgies, and leadership and incident management


YSAR MISSION – We are a world leading youth education provider.  Our Search and Rescue and Emergency Management programme is delivered with a focus on innovation and technology. 


Project-based and experiential learning is a comprehensive approach to learning that is designed to engage students in investigation of authentic problems. Our projects have have a SAR and CDEM focus and have the potential to help save lives and rescue the lost and injured faster and more effectively.

Details of the 2020 projects will be listed shortly and will include; Thermal Imaging, Standard Operating Procedures for UAV deployment in SAR and CDEM, Tracking on IOT, Field Force Intelligence, Deployment of assets through RPAS, Development of MapSAR – Geospatial predictive analysis and planning for SAROPS, Geospatial preplanning for CDEM and SAR

Our partners in our projects; Eagle Technology Group Ltd, Zespri, Wireless Nation, Covertex


Register your interest by applying online. Positions are limited in each area and will fill up fast. Applications are now open for YSAR 2020.


Check out the latest from YSAR New Zealand. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


YSAR takes college students from all walks of life and teaches them outdoors, leadership and management skills which are beneficial in all aspects of life. 


Within the first weeks of the program, we will talk about the best gear options, so do not rush out and buy new things too soon.

As a standard for YSAR exercise you will be required to have the following items. Instruction will be given to you when you start as to what the gear requirements are. We do not expect you to have all the equipment on this list the first month of YSAR.

Youth Search & Rescue (YSAR) enables students to become active volunteers in emergency response organisations. Our independent, non-profit training organisation inspires future leaders with a focus on practical skills, technology, innovation and community


Youth Search and Rescue trains youth with the necessary skills to enable safe practice and emergency response.


Keep up to date with all key YSAR activities and events by registering for our calendar updates.


To apply to become a member of YSAR, you must be aged between 14 and 16 years, find out more here.


YSAR is supported by a range of partners. Our Strategic partners are essential, find out more here.


YSAR operates thanks to the assistance from our supporters, we have several ways to donate. Donations are tax deductible.


Discover innovative and exciting opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Integrated SAR Systems – ISARS

Integrated SAR systems  - ISARS This project is focused on research and development and future focused SAR systems. This project explores possibilities to integrate 5 levels of operational tasks on one integrated system. It is understood that this project is horizon...

World Vision – Utilising technology in emergency response

While technology and innovation are not synonymous, the right technology can inspire and facilitate new and better ways to achieve our goal to protect children from the impact from disasters.

Xaver Sense Through the Wall System

Operators can deploy Camero’s Xaver family of scanners on solid walls to get a 3D outline of the objects behind it. The system uses an ultra-wideband radar to “see” through walls along with a “breath detection” mechanism to differentiate between static and moving objects.

SAR for SAR – Technology on the horizon – The use of Synthetic Aperture Radar for Search and Rescue

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images are produced by an active system that sends a microwave signal from a sensor platform to the ground and detects backscattered waves that the ground reflects directly back to a receiver on the same platform, which can be borne aloft by either airplanes or satellites. When the source and receiver are on the same platform, the radar is said to be monostatic. If the source and receiver are on different platforms, the radar is said to be bistatic. Commercial SAR systems are monostatic and always collect images to the side of the flight path of the sensor platform, unlike most multispectral imaging systems, which commonly look straight down and are passive (consisting only of receivers of reflected sunlight and emitted thermal infrared radiation).

Researchers aim to enhance lost person search and rescue efforts using drones, artificial intelligence

Thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a group of Virginia Tech engineers hopes to redefine these search and rescue protocols by teaming up human searchers with unmanned aerial robots, or drones. In efforts led by Ryan Williams, an...

YSAR goes under CANVAS

YSAR new Learning Management System (LMS) CANVAS by Instructure YSAR are about to transition over to a new learning management systems (LMS) called Canvas by Instructure, between now and March 2019. The course won't change but the way we deliver the content and track...

Trustpower Community Awards – YSAR recognised for the amazing work they do in the community

Trustpower Community Awards On Wednesday night YSAR was recognised for the awesome work they are doing in the community by being awarded a finalist award at the local Tauranga and Western Bay awards ceremony.  Where would we be without volunteers? The salt of the...
YSAR in the USA

Western Bay Youth Search and Rescue students training where the wildfires are – BOP Times report

Youth Search and Rescue (YSAR) students are training in an American (USA) national park where firefighters have battled deadly wildfires.

Youth Search and Rescue

Youth Search and Rescue to get free satellite tech – key partnership with Wireless Nation

Under a new partnership, Wireless Nation will provide YSAR with satellite internet for communications, data sharing, and navigation across New Zealand.

S.T.E.M is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education. At YSAR, we focus on these areas because they are deeply entwined in the real world and in how students learn and succeed. We believe STEM skills are essential for the future of search and rescue and emergency management and that our young people will help implement and integrate these new innovations.

Being involved in YSAR has opened so many doors for me. It helped me develop the confidence, discipline, strength and character that enables me to reach my goals. YSAR only built and strengthened my love for the outdoors and through the training and knowledge I have received through the programme, I am able to give it the respect it deserves. I have been pushed to my limits mentally physically and emotionally and have had the time of my life. I’ve achieve things I never imagined I could accomplish and the people you do it with are friends for a lifetime, I cannot recommend it  enough.

Laura Geraerts


When I first started YSAR I was a very shy teenager with almost zero self confidence and only a small group of friends. The thought of going to my first meeting as a year 1 student made me so anxious and scared that I almost didn’t go!
Fast track to now, I am a completely different person. YSAR not only taught me specialised skills that set me apart from my peers, it also gave me confidence and allowed me to break out of my shell. I formed life long friendships with people of different ages and backgrounds and allow me to learn core qualities such as effective teamwork and leadership. I completed the 3 year course in 2014 but it still influences my life positively through employment and opportunities because of the qualifications I have completed and the skills I have learnt. I cannot thank Steve and the team who supported me through my experience enough!! The personal growth I have made because of YSAR has been exponential!

Chloe Morgan


YSAR has been such a great find for our two teenage boys, one of whom is currently involved. It’s personal development and practical/life skills, interaction with wonderful role models and friendships with ‘their tribe’ – other kids who like to get outside and do stuff! This organisation has had, and continues to have, a profoundly positive impact on their lives, largely because of the wonderful people who are involved. We are enormously appreciative of the volunteers who support and push and impart knowledge and give our sons the confidence to tackle all sorts of challenges. Thank you.

Sue Hoffart





We are grateful for all of the support we have been given: