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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

For further information please contact Katrina Kane 530 889-7846. Donation address: PO Box 4150 Auburn, CA 95604


Search & Rescue Communications

The Communications Team was formed in the early 1960's. They maintain and operate the Sheriff's Communications Truck, which communicates with SAR personnel in the field as well as Sheriff's Dispatch and Allied Agencies. 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.

For further information please contact Katrina Kane 530 889-7846.

Search & Rescue Four Wheel Drive Team

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

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 Ray Brewer Team Leader email  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.

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.

For more information about our team, including membership information and upcoming events, please visit

Search & Rescue 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 Office and therefore represent Placer County and the Sheriff’s Office. 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.

Searching from horseback offers some unique experiences and 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. We meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. 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.

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 Office ranging from an urban environment in western county, to the high sierra in eastern county. 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 Sheriff's Office Mountain Rescue Team

Search & Rescue Off-Road Team

The Off-Road Motorcycle Team is an immediate response Team which provides hasty search capabilities for lost victims in any area or location in the County. 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. The Team 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.

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. They have logged in thousands of miles per year on trails and in the back country on searches and training exercises.

For further information please contact Katrina Kane 530 889-7846. 

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 and the monthly newsletter. 

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 Devin Heimstra (310) 597-1168 or