Search and Rescue Unit|
Pursuant to A.R.S. 11-441, Paragraph C, "The sheriff shall conduct or coordinate within the county search or rescue operations involving the life or health of any person, or may assist in such operations in another county at the request of that county's sheriff, and may request assistance from any persons or agencies in the fulfillment of duties under this subsection."
The Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team members are volunteers, not sworn peace officers, but they assume many of the same responsibilities performed by peace officers in ground searches and wilderness searches.
SAR is trained to conduct wilderness, desert, mine and mountain rescues. With the help and participation of experts in many disciplines, SAR has become another critical volunteer tool that helps ensure the peace and happiness of Yuma County residents and visitors.
Value of Volunteer Time
During 2019, the Search and Rescue volunteers worked 1,612 hours on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office and Yuma County residents. Based on the Independent Sector's national hourly rate for 2018* ($25.43), the value of their volunteer labor in 2019 was $40,993.16. Based on the Independent Sector's 2018* hourly rate for the State of Arizona ($24.83), the value of their volunteer labor in 2019 was $40,025.96.
*2018: The Independent Sector has not determined the 2019 national and state value of volunteer time due to COVID-19.
Click link for informational video: County Line Segment - Search & Rescue
SAR conducts training among its volunteer members to ensure that they are able to respond when the Sheriff’s Office and other area law enforcement need their help. This training is intensive and multi-disciplinary requiring skill in topographical analysis and navigation using predetermined coordinates, and natural signposts and benchmarks.
All new recruits are required to complete a 20-hour Basic Rescue Course. In-house training is also provided in the areas of:
- Map and compass
- Mountain and mine rescue
- Desert training
- Boat operations
- Various law enforcement related subjects
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Uniforms and Equipment
Upon acceptance into SAR, team members will be provided with a uniform. All other equipment will be the responsibility of the SAR member and must meet requirements set forth by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.
To Become a Search and Rescue Volunteer, Contact...
Sgt. Richard Meraz
Tel: (928) 819-2212
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7:00 AM-5:00 PM