Search And Rescue (SAR) Unit


“Search & Rescue” means the acts of searching for, rescuing, or recovering by means of ground, marine, or air activity any person who becomes lost, injured, or is killed while outdoors, or as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, including instances involving searches for downed or missing aircraft.

Who we are:

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit is made up of trained volunteers. Unit members provide the manpower, knowledge, and skills to conduct searches for missing people. The Search and Rescue Unit of the Sheriff's Office is the largest specialized unit in the Office and is a 100 percent volunteer effort.

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What we do:

Missions encompass everything from an overdue hiker to the Alzheimer patient that has walked away from home, and providing assistance to law enforcement in searching for evidence hidden or abandoned during the commission of a crime. The SAR Unit provides emergency medical support at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area for the many off highway vehicle users on holiday weekends. SAR volunteers respond to medical emergencies within the dunes area to treat and stabilize patients until the arrival of ambulance personnel. During the year, SAR volunteers provide “stand by” services or public relations information at large events.

Members of the team design and conduct training within the team that meets or exceeds national standards. Each team member has at a minimum ICS 100, Title 22 First Aid, CPR, and NASAR SARTECH III training. A majority of the SAR volunteers have specialized training and offer the following capabilities:

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  • NASAR SARTECH II certification
  • K9s - CARDA mission ready search dogs certified for either trailing, area and/or cadaver searches
  • Emergency Medical Technician 1 (or higher)
  • Amateur Radio operators
  • Radio dispatchers
  • Skilled off-road drivers with 4 x 4 radio-equipped vehicles
  • Technical rescue – high and low angle
  • Quad/ATV vehicles
  • Mountain bikers
  • Swift water rescue support
  • Man-Tracking
  • Project Lifesaver (radio tracking bracelets for Alzheimer's clients)

SLOSAR has extensive equipment assets that can be deployed on short notice staffed with operational personnel anywhere in San Luis Obispo County.

Minimum requirements to join:

Title 22 First Aid, CPR (prior to coming on officially onto the team), 18 years of age, and a heart to serve the community.

Want more information?

Search and Rescue's monthly meetings are open to the public. We meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Sheriff's Honor Farm on Oklahoma Ave. (off Hwy 1, across the street from the County's Animal Shelter).

Call the Sheriff's Office at 781-4550 and ask to speak to the Search and Rescue Coordinator for more information on joining our team.

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