Search and Rescue

SAR Photo


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The El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit provides a wide range of rescue services to the residents and visitors of El Dorado County.

The mission of the Search and Rescue Unit is to:

  • Provide emergency services to citizens and visitors who are lost, stranded or injured.

  • Provide services necessary to rescue such persons and provide them appropriate medical care.

  • Handle all search and rescue operations in a professional manner.

Our mission of saving lives is accomplished through the support of highly trained volunteers and Sworn Deputy Sheriff's. Although the Sheriff’s Office coordinates the Search and Rescue Unit, without the participation of volunteers, the highly effective and professional Search and Rescue teams that make up the unit would not be possible.


Currently there are over 160 volunteers that provide the following services:

  • Cliff (High Angle)Search and Rescue Team.

  • Swift Water Search and Rescue Team.

  • Ground Search and Rescue Team.

  • Mounted Search and Rescue Team.

  • Canine Search and Rescue Teams.

  • OHV (4-Wheel Drive) Search and Rescue Team.

  • Nordic Search and Rescue Team.

  • Tahoe Search and Rescue Team.

  • Management Team. 

All volunteer personnel are required to pass a variety of tests to become a team member. Such tests include FIRST AID, CPR, MAP AND COMPASS  READING. Specialized Units require proficiency in CLIFF RESCUE/ROCK CLIMBING, SWIFT WATER RESCUE, HIGH ALTITUDE SCUBA DIVING and NORDIC SKIING. Along with having special skills, the SAR volunteers are required to  participate in monthly training and are always subject to call-outs, often in times of darkness or during extreme weather conditions. The Tahoe Office has approximately 50 volunteers serving the Basin.


Examples of typical rescue missions handled by the Unit are: 

  • Search for lost/injured skiers both at resorts and back country.

  • Respond to plane crashes in wilderness or in lakes and/or ponds.

  • Injured hikers on several peaks and in Desolation Valley.

  • Stranded climbers on Lovers Leap.

  • River rescues in local streams/rivers.

  • Diving accidents in Lake Tahoe or other lakes.    

SAR Teams are comprised of:

  • Mounted Unit

  • Air Team

  • High Angle

  • Swift Water Team

  • Foot Trackers

  • K-9's

  • 4X4 Team

  • Nordic Winter Rescue

  • Search Management  

Teams meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM. 

For more information on Team meetings and application procedures, please contact: