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Section 2.01 General Requirements

Section 2.02 Membership Types


Section 3.01 Meetings

Section 3.02 Executive Board

Section 3.03 Officer Qualifications

Section 3.04 Terms 4

Section 3.05 Outgoing President

Section 3.06 Officer Duties

Section 3.07 Election and Removal of Officers



Section 5.01 Standing Committees








Name: The name of the organization shall be NORTHWEST HORSEBACK SEARCH AND RESCUE (NWHSAR). It shall be a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington.


Purpose: NWHSAR is organized exclusively to provide assistance in the field of search and rescue to the King County Sheriffs’ Office (KCSO) and other responsible agencies involved in search and rescue operations according to Chapter 118-04 WAC Emergency Worker Program.


Mission Statement: Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue (NWHSAR) is a team of volunteers committed to assist in the location and rescue of lost, missing or injured persons, as well as participating in evidence searches as requested by local law enforcement authorities.  NWHSAR is a well-trained and equipped team (including our equine partners) who are prepared to respond rapidly, effectively, and safely (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) without cost to the community.  Our commitment is to serve effectively, while conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards, maintaining the confidence of the public and our fellow first responders.



  • To aid and assist in finding lost or missing persons including first aid care and evacuation from the field either by litter or on horseback.

  • To provide the training structure and documentation to ensure a qualified group of search and rescue volunteer members.

  • To maintain training, elevate the levels of performance, and to stimulate growth of leadership within the unit.

  • To promote public education of wilderness safety.




Section 2.01 General Requirements                                                                                                                     

  1. All candidates for training will be subjected to a background check of criminal history and driving record performed by KCSO. All candidates are referred to as Trainee Members once they commence training.

  2. All members of NWHSAR shall be required to comply with all laws for motor vehicles and drivers as required by Washington State law. A copy of a current driver’s license, vehicle registration, and a current and valid Proof of Insurance will be required of each member on a yearly basis, and may be requested of any member at any time by the Board of Directors. Such documentation shall be provided to the Membership Records Committee by February 15th of each year. Thereafter, all members shall provide the Membership Records Committee with changes in status of the above documentation within 30 days of such change; all such documentation received by the Membership Records Committee shall be forwarded to the SAR coordinator as needed.

  3. Members must maintain the minimum WAC 118-04-120 training classes as well as required federal, state  and county certifications.

  4. All members are subject to NWHSAR By-Laws and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as well as King County Search and Rescue Association (KCSARA) By-Laws and King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) applicable rules and regulations.


              Section 2.02 Membership Types

(a)        Trainee Member

(b)        Active Member

(c)        Inactive Member

(d)        Support Member






Section 3.01 Meetings:

  1. A meeting quorum will be defined as the majority of present active members in a meeting including Board Members. 

  2. A monthly General Meeting shall be held at a time and location voted on by the general membership, where a meeting quorum exists.

  3. Meetings will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.

  4. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Executive Board to resolve urgent problems.  General Board meetings are open for membership to attend, but not participate in.

  5. Voting on issues shall be decided by a simple majority of those present, where a meeting quorum exists unless otherwise provided by these bylaws

  6. Only appointed NWHSAR delegate may vote at KCSARA meeting.


Section 3.02 Executive Board

  1. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Training Coordinator, Outgoing President, and Member At Large. Board members shall attend a minimum of 75% of the scheduled NWHSAR meetings.

Section 3.03 Officer Qualifications

  1. To serve as President, Vice President, Member-at-Large, or Training Coordinator of NWHSAR, an individual must have served as an active member for the prior two years and have also participated in an actual logged mission(s) of duration of sixteen (16) hours or more within the prior two (2) years.

  2. To serve as Secretary or Treasurer of NWHSAR, an individual must be an active member and have demonstrated sustained interest through participation in NWHSAR.

  3. To serve as a member of the board, no more than 2 related individuals (married, living together, family member) can serve on the board at the same time.  


Section 3.04 Terms

  1. The officers shall be elected for a term of two years, and may not serve more than two consecutive full terms, however, officers can be re-elected for a consecutive one year term until an eligible/willing candidate can be found.


Section 3.05 Outgoing President

  1. The outgoing president shall serve for two years as a member of the board.


Section 3.06 Officer Duties

  1. President: The President is the principal executive officer of NWHSAR and Chairperson of the board. He/she shall in general supervise the business and affairs of the Corporation. The President shall enforce all standards and policies as set forth in NWHSAR Bylaws and shall appoint a Chairperson for each of the Standing Committees. President shall not chair or be a member of any committee; he/she is responsible for holding the committees accountable only. President shall be responsible for providing an agenda for the scheduled NWHSAR monthly meetings and shall attend a minimum of 75% of the scheduled meetings.  If he/she is unable to attend a meeting he/she shall appoint another member of the board to conduct the meeting. 

  2. Vice President: The Vice President shall be responsible for arrange meeting places. During the President's absence, the Vice President shall have all of the President’s powers and duties. The Vice President shall serve as the default NWHSAR delegate to KCSARA meetings unless another delegate will serve in his/her place. The Vice President shall coordinate the presentation of awards when appropriate.


  1. Secretary: The Secretary shall keep complete minutes of all meetings and shall provide a final written record of the minutes to the membership within two weeks prior to the next unit meeting. The Secretary shall retain custody of the official bylaws and maintain such bylaws complete with all amendments. The Secretary shall maintain historical files of all correspondence, be custodian of all NWHSAR documents and retain electronic backup files. All records are to remain the property of NWHSAR and shall be surrendered to the Secretary’s successor.   The Secretary will be responsible for forwarding all meeting rosters to the membership coordinator. The Secretary shall be responsible for dispersing unit notifications and OL rotation assignments. The Secretary will submit requests to KCSO for DEM Numbers for special events and meetings by November 1st of each year. 

  2. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall collect, receive and deposit all monies due to and belonging to NWHSAR, pay all bills, claims or rewards after determining that proper documentation for expenditure is on hand and expenditure is for appropriate and necessary NWHSAR business. The Treasurer shall maintain clear, concise and accurate account of all receipts and disbursements on a monthly basis at the regular meeting and upon request at any Executive Board meeting. The Treasurer will prepare all required Federal and state reports and forms in time for approval by the NWHSAR Board and shall file the aforementioned reports as specified by law. The Treasure shall maintain an active log of all unit assets and perform an annual audit of such assets.  Shall maintain open books subject to examination at any time and assist auditors in completing the required annual audit. The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting all membership dues and send notice within 30 days to all delinquent members and provide the membership committee a list of all members who have not paid their dues by September 1st.  The Treasurer shall hand over to his/her successor a complete and accurate financial statement together with all funds, records and supplies.

  3. Training Coordinator: The Training Coordinator reports to the Executive Board and shall chair the training committee.  This committee is responsible for developing a training calendar which is to be presented to the Executive Board for approval in the first week of November each year.   The Training Coordinator is responsible for submitting all training dates and plans to the KCSO SAR Coordinator and is the focal point for information regarding training needs in accordance with SOP. It is the Training Coordinators responsibility to insure all requirements have been met in accordance with Federal, State and Local regulations.

  4. Member-at-Large: The Member-at-Large shall serve as a voting member of the Board and share in Board Member responsibilities.  Act as a resource to the membership. Perform other duties as directed by the President, with the approval of the Board.

  5. Trusted Unit Certifies (TUC): It is the responsibility of the TUC to certify the individualized training reports prepared by the unit trainers and update the KCSARA database.


Section 3.07 Election and Removal of Officers

  1. Election

  2. Elections for Member At Large, Vice-President, and Secretary shall occur on odd numbered years and elections for President, and Treasurer shall occur on even numbered years.  Elections shall be held in October, except for the Training Coordinator, who shall be nominated in May and voted on in June of even numbered years.

  3. A majority of the Board shall appoint qualified individuals to serve out unexpired terms; subject individuals must meet minimum requirements as set forth in these By-Laws.

  4. Elections Committee.
    The Board shall annually approve an Elections Committee of not fewer than two (2) members by the May meeting.  No member of the Election Committee shall be a candidate for that election.

  5. The Elections Committee will present its slate of nominees to the general membership at the meeting prior to a scheduled election, at which time additional nominations can be made from the floor.

  6. If more than one person is interested in running for an office, the Elections Committee shall choose and provide a ballot system and distribute to active members two week prior to the November General Meeting.

  7. The results will be announced at the June and November meeting. A simple majority of ballots shall rule.

  8. If only one person is interested in running for an office, that person will be presented at the November meeting for confirmation by majority vote.

  9. Newly elected board members will start attending board meetings immediately.

  10. Removal of Officers

  11. Any officer may be removed from office by a majority vote of active members, including a minimum of five (5) members of the Executive Board, at a regularly scheduled meeting: provided the membership receive at least ten (10) days’ notice in writing of the proposed action.
    The office of any Executive Board member who leaves that position before the expiration of his/her term shall have his/her successor appointed by a  majority vote of the Executive Board. Paragraph 3.03 also applies when an unexpired term occurs.



  1. Authorized Signatures; Approved withdrawals of NWHSAR funds require the signature of one of the four following people: President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer.  Expenditures over $200 require membership approval.

  2. The Executive Board will be responsible for preparation of the annual budget to present for approval to the membership at the February meeting. Disbursements from this budget require only authorization and documentation of the President. In situations where authorizations are being made for a member of the same household/family, the President shall also obtain approval of a third board member who is not from the same household/family.

  3. Examination of NWHSAR financial records shall be conducted by NWHSAR auditors. Auditors will consist of a minimum of two members, other than the Treasurer, or an outside expert.  Auditors are responsible for conducting an annual audit of NWHSAR financial records and assets.




Section 5.01 Standing Committees.

  1. There shall be six (6) standing committees. All Standing Committee Chairpersons shall be appointed by the President, with the exception of the Training Coordinator (which is an elected position). Each committee shall have a representative present an update at the monthly unit meeting.

·     Communications Committee – Maintain radios & GPS’s, which includes programing, inventory, repairs, purchases, etc.

·     Training Committee– The training coordinator is the chair and is elected by the membership. The committee is responsible for the creation, planning and execution of all training events.

·     Ways & Means Committee: This committee pursues avenues to generate funds for the unit’s benefit.

o   Grant writing

o   Fundraising

·     Command Vehicle Committee –Be responsible for coordinating vehicle maintenance and records, and ensure that the vehicles are mission-ready.

·     Membership Records - The committee shall maintain and update records for all members and be responsible for keeping the database current.  

·     Election Committee - Present nominees to the general membership at the meeting prior to a scheduled election.



  1. Members shall be admitted and retained in accordance with NWHSAR SOP/KCSARA regulations/KCSO code of conduct. Any disqualified member may appeal according to procedures defined in SOP.

  2. Any member of NWHSAR who feels that she/he is or has been the subject of prejudice, harassment or discrimination, or who observes or is aware of such action, is encouraged to contact an Operations Leader or any member of the Executive Board as identified in these bylaws.  Any reported complaints will be brought to the Executive Board.




  1. The eligible voting members of NWHSAR may dissolve the organization at any time by the written and signed consent of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the active members. The Executive Board shall ensure that all proper dissolution documents are completed and filed with the proper authorities.
    In the event the corporation is dissolved, it shall be the responsibility of the Executive Board at the time of disbandment to ensure that all of its assets remaining after the payment of its outstanding debts shall be distributed to KCSARA to be divided equally among the members of the Association for the purpose of furthering Search and Rescue Operation, provided further that in the event of the prior dissolution of KCSARA, the funds shall be distributed to any nonprofit organization bearing objects similar to the corporation selected by the Board, and in no event shall the remaining assets of the corporation be distributed to or for its members or used for any purpose other than exclusively for charitable and educational purposes as permitted by corporations which are exempt from federal Income Tax under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.



  1. These By-laws may be amended by a simple majority vote of active members including Board Members provided 10 days written notice is given to the membership prior to the vote.

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