Operational Units

The Ground Unit is a search and rescue team on foot. SAR team members are cross-trained and many are also members of other units. The Ground Unit members are trained to observe and be alert for clues that may have been left behind by the lost person, locate the lost person, and then assist in stabilization and evacuation.

The K9 Unit is made up of trained and tested handlers and their carefully certified canine partners who provide assistance to law enforcement and volunteer groups in an effort to reunite families and loved ones. The K9 Unit also provides education programs to educate and inform the public on how K9 search dogs are involved with search and rescue, how to avoid becoming lost, and what to do if it happens. In providing qualified canine teams for search and rescue missions, our goal is to have teams in each of the following canine disciplines:

  • Air Scenting / Area Search
  • Scent Discriminating Trailing
  • Disaster - Live and Recovery
  • Human Remains Detection

The Operations Unit provides support to the Incident Commander during a search or training mission. Operations Unit members are required to demonstrate proficiency with the NIMS and ICS (emergency management protocols). They also provide logistical support in searcher organization, supplies, and equipment, and are a point of contact for the Sheriff's Office, and the media.

The Mounted Unit provides searchers on horseback with an elevated position of the searcher which can enhance the ability to see sign, track, and provide a wider range of view. The speed in which a horse/human partnership can move assists in covering outlying areas. The strength and power of the horse can be utilized for subject evacuation, canine rescue when needed, and movement of supplies to areas not accessible to vehicles.

Specialties and Certifications

The Medical Unit has a primary mission to provide trained medical personnel in support of Search and Rescue operations and training missions as needed. Medical unit members must be First Responders, EMTs, Paramedics, or WFRs, and are dispersed throughout other units. 

The Transportation Unit organizes, maintains, operates and coordinates available means of transportation for the movement of supplies, evacuees, personnel, service animals, livestock and equipment during actual missions, training events or evidence search activities. Under some circumstances, they will also participate, with their vehicle, directly in the search. Included are 4x4 and 4x2 vehicles, offroad motorcycles, ATVs, and watercraft. 

The Snow Unit provides training and oversees operations in winter and snow operations. This is made up of GroundTransportation, Medical and Operations personnel.