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Search and Rescue

The unit members consist of full time and reserve Deputy Sheriff's along with dedicated members of our communities who volunteer their time for this valuable assignment. Each year, numerous S.A.R. missions are carried out in all kinds of conditions by these professionals. Incidents can vary from a missing child in fair weather in a residential neighborhood to a rescue of a trapped skier in blizzard conditions in the harsh wilderness backcountry.

Some of our units are recognized world wide for their accomplishments and professionalism. The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team is one of these units. The Sheriff's Off-Road Motorcycle unit is another decorated unit, recently receiving the California Off-Highway Recreation Commission's Special Unit Award. The Mountain Rescue Team is accredited annually in Mountain Search and Rescue Operations by the Mountain Rescue Association, a National Organization with International Affiliations.

Search & Rescue Communications

The Communications Team, consisting of about 20 volunteers with a variety of technical backgrounds is responsible for the management of search communications and technology. Formed in the early 1960's, they maintain and operate the Sheriff's Communications Truck which is often used as a search command post in the field. They communicate with SAR personnel in the field as well as Sheriff's Dispatch and Allied Agencies. They are responsible for all SAR communications equipment including hand-held radios, GPS receivers, computers and the Topo Mapping System. They maintain and operate an extensive system of Amateur Radio Repeaters which are used to supplement SAR frequencies and to coordinate search resources en-route to the search area.

Prospective members are invited to attend our Team meetings which are held the 3rd Monday of each month, except December at the SAR Building in Auburn. For additional information, please contact the Placer County Search and Rescue office at 530.889.7846

Search & Rescue Dog Team

The Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dog Unit is on call 24 hours a day. The volunteers from this unit assist law enforcement agencies by providing their expertise in searching with specially trained dogs that can be used in a variety of searches. The dogs are trained to locate missing people in both urban and wilderness areas.

They are also used to locate homicide victims and crime scene evidence, such as weapons, bullets and other items associated with the victim or suspect. In addition the dogs are trained to locate drowning and avalanche victims. Search dogs and handlers work as a team to provide assistance in time of need.

Search & Rescue Four Wheel Drive Team

The Four Wheel Drive team is organized as a part of Placer County’s Search and Rescue Department and consists of fourteen team members (2003). Each of the team members is required to own and maintain their own vehicle with full off-road capabilities.

In order to be prepared for search and rescue deployment, each team member is required to successfully complete the 120 hour SAR Technician training programming including team specific refresher courses, demonstrate off-road driving skills and attend team meetings and field training exercises. Many of the team members have advanced their training to include Paramedic and EMT certifications.

When deployed, the team provides a variety of primary and secondary support functions to the search and rescue mission. Primary functions include urban searches, wilderness searches in rough terrain, as well as provide “hasty searches” while other SAR units are organizing and awaiting area assignments. Some of the secondary support functions include the transporting of other units to and from remote areas, transportation of the victim, the movement of equipment and material to remote areas and the establishment and manning of repeater communication equipment to facilitate long distance searches and communications within other units. As an integral part of the County’s Search and Rescue team, the Four Wheel Drive team will also provide additional support to the Ground team in the execution of its mission.

The team is organized under the leadership of a Team Leader, Assistant Team Leader, Secretary/Treasurer and Safety/Training Officer. All positions are elected from within and by members of the team.

The team meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 18:30. Contact team leader

Rex DeMartini Team Leader emailr.demartini@gordian-group.com for further information.

Search & Rescue Ground Search Team

The Ground Search Team conducts searches on foot, and it is often the first team called out for a search. In order to be search ready, members must complete over 100 hours of specialized training, including Search and Rescue Fundamentals, First Aid, CPR, Map and Compass, Man Tracking, Rough Terrain Rescue, and Wilderness Survival. In addition, some team members have additional medical training as Emergency Medical Technicians.

Ground Team members may be involved in a variety of searches all over Placer County, from a missing skier in Tahoe to a missing child in Rocklin. The Placer County Sheriff's Office also utilizes the Ground Team for evidence and cadaver searches. In addition, the team often provides support to other Search and Rescue Teams in Placer County, including the Dog Team and the Four Wheel Drive Team. Through mutual aid agreements, the Ground Search Team sometimes assists other county agencies throughout the state.

It is our goal to be a highly trained and dedicated volunteer group that utilizes nationally recognized standards of search and rescue to assist the Placer County Sheriff's Office in its efforts to save lives and property. We respond to calls for aid in a responsible, respectful, and timely manner so as to maximize our value to our community.

"If you are interested in joining our team, please contact

Robin Hunsinger, Membership Director membership@placergroundsar.org
or
Roger Makishima, Team Leader unitleader@placergroundsar.org

A SEARCH IS AN EMERGENCY! IF YOU NEED TO REPORT A MISSING PERSON, DIAL 911!

For more information about our team, including membership information and upcoming events, please visit placergroundsar.camp7.org

Search & Rescue Mountain Rescue Team

The Mountain Rescue Team was organized in December of '97 and formally became an active team in March of '98. This highly specialized team was formed in response to an ever growing public interest in "extreme" outdoor sports, coupled with the lack of such a team locally.
The Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) is a
highly trained search and rescue unit that specializes in technical rescue in a wilderness environment, during any type of weather and terrain. The MRT responds to any type of SAR call-outs from the Sheriff's department ranging from an urban environment in western county, to the high sierra in eastern county. MRT also supports the department's Dive Team during swiftwater operations. All MRT members are trained to the Search & Rescue Technician level and are able to be tasked as ground searchers to supplement the need of the Ground Search team. Likewise, the Ground team provides an incredibly well trained support pool for MRT's needs.

For more information about our team, including membership information and upcoming events, please visit our website at Placer County Mountian Rescue Team

Search & Rescue Horse Mounted Team

The Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Mounted Unit is located at the base of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. We cover all types of riding terrain from flat, urban environments to breathtaking mountain trails and canyons. We are a volunteer group working for the Sheriff’s Department and therefore represent Placer County and the Sheriff’s Department. We are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Although our home base is in Placer County, we often respond to other counties to assist with Search and Rescue efforts as needed.

We average about 20 members who all furnish their own horses and transportation. Riding is our passion so we get out on the trail throughout the year and even hold trail rides for our meetings in the summer months. We meet regularly for training in the spring and summer as the weather warms and the new season gets under way to make sure our horses are ready for the strenuous work they face. We do love to ride but we are all ground searchers who respond in any weather and for any terrain.

Searching from horseback offers some unique experiences and offers a different “view” while searching. Working with our equine partners also means we have a second set of eyes, ears and a very keen nose (a horse’s nose is similar to a dog’s in sensitivity) to help us find what we are looking for.

We are always looking for new riders who are interested in giving their time back to our community to help others in need. If you are interested in finding out more about us please call the Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Office at (530) 889-7846. We meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month at7 p.m. in the Search and Rescue office at the Sheriff’s Department located in the new Auburn Justice Center, 2929 Richardson Drive.

Search & Rescue Tahoe Nordic Team

The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team was conceived in 1976 as a response to the death of a boy lost off the back side of Northstar-At-Tahoe ski area during a blizzard. There was, at the time, no organized backcountry ski team to help search for the boy. Desperate phone calls to some local Nordic skiers produced a search party that eventually located the youth, but only after it was too late.

This group of skiers, along with the boy's father (who today still remains one of the Nordic Team's most active members), learned there was an important void to be filled. Thus, the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team was born. Based in the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee area, the Team has matured considerably after 20 years but the goals remain the same; Conducting fast, safe rescues and educating the public on winter safety. The Nordic Team consists of a wide variety of individuals. The Team has EMT's, emergency room nurses, firefighters, professional ski patrollers, paramedics, and MD's as active members. The level of medical, mountain, and skiing skills among the members is very high. In addition to the search and rescues, about 100 people handle Team committees such as training, dispatch, education, equipment upkeep, bookkeeping, the monthly newsletter, and the organization of The Great Ski Race (the main fund raising event for the Team). General meetings are held the first Monday of each month, October through May, at the Granlibakken Ski Hut in Tahoe City at 7:00pm. New members are always
encouraged to join this fun and diverse group. For more information, contact Chris McConnell (916) 996-8500 at Mcspeed@gmail.com or webmaster@tahoenordicsar.com

Search & Rescue Off-Road Team

Several Units make up Placer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Organization, which includes one of the most unique Teams in the State.

The Off-Road Motorcycle Unit. This Unit is an immediate response Team which provides hasty search capabilities for lost victims in any area or location in the County. With over 20 years in existence, they have dedicated themselves to continually professionalizing their Team. Amongst other functions, this Team is capable of isolating a victim by way of establishing a perimeter to the search area in a hasty fashion, and the search effort then moves in for a successful find, aided once again by the Off-Road Motorcycle Unit. Search and Rescue personnel are in the public's eye continually Almost every search draws news media and, many times, television coverage. Static displays and parades always draw a lot of attention to the Motorcycle Unit. The Unit responds to emergency call-outs at any time of the day or night, on any day of the year, and under the harshest of weather conditions. From summer heat to mountain snow and rain. All expenses are paid by individual members and M/C personnel encounter additional costs so as to keep and maintain expensive motorcycles, purchased exclusively for Search and Rescue, at their own expense as well. They attempt to achieve this goal by donating additional time to fund raising efforts.

The Team is made up of hard working contractors, programmers,laborers, county employees, and other fields in the work force. Like everyone, caring for their own families and household matters must take priority. But donating their time to the Search and Rescue Organization takes a close second. This was once the only known organized Search and Rescue Off-Road Motorcycle Unit in the State. When a life may depend on them to respond to a call out, this Team will answer the call. They are dedicated to the cause of saving the lives of people they've never met and will never see again. They've pioneered the use of off-road motorcycles to establish this effective Team, and have logged in thousands of miles per year on trails and in the back country on searches and training exercises. Other Counties have considered establishing an off-road motorcycle team due, in part, to the success of this Team.
The Team Leader is Mike Fitzhugh & he can be reached at 530-823-9064

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