The Fresno County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team is responsible for searching, rescuing or recovering people lost, injured or killed while outdoors in Fresno County. Approximately 2,000 square miles of Fresno County is home to the high sierra and every year this unit conducts dozens of Search and Rescue missions in this area. Unit members are deployed on missions 24 hours a day in all kinds of adverse conditions and weather. Unit members are highly trained and are expected to be self-sufficient for multiple days at a time. These members are trained in wilderness first aid, land navigation, swiftwater rescue, mantracking and technical rope rescue. Other training specific to the alpine winter environment consists of snow shelter building, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobile operation and snowcat operation.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has a proud history of Search and Rescue service within Fresno County. Our program is staffed by both Sheriff's deputies and community volunteers. Four different volunteer teams work within Search and Rescue:
SAR unit whose interest and expertise are steep angle and alpine activities. This team also participates also includes winter and summer ground searches as well as white water rescue. Open to persons 18 years and older.
Equestrian unit open to all persons 18 years or older. Volunteers must provide their own equine and transportation.
Jeep Rescue Unit
The Jeep Squadron is open to all persons 18 years or older. Volunteers must provide their own 4x4 vehicle.
The Air Squadron is open to all persons 21 years or older. Volunteers must provide their own airplane and pilot licensing.
Things to consider when recreating in the mountains:
- Plan carefully and create an itinerary, then do not deviate from it.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Make sure someone NOT ON YOUR TRIP knows your itinerary. Agree upon a date/time that law enforcement should be called if your contact has not heard from you.
- If you know you are lost, then stop and stay where you are. Seek shelter and make your location visible with brightly colored items, fire, smoke, large words on the ground, etc. Make noise by shouting, using a whistle, etc. Remember that shelter, warmth and water are more important than food.
- Don't attempt more than you are physically able to handle.
- Obtain adequate training with outdoor equipment before using it.
- Encourage the group to stay together rather than separate.
- Always carry emergency supplies. Minimum suggested include:
- Waterproof means of starting a fire
- Water purification system
- Plastic survival blanket, tarp, etc.for shelter
- Map & Compass, along with the knowledge of how to use them
- First Aid kit
- Flahlight with extra batteries
- Paracord or similar string
- Mirror for signaling aircraft
- Extra food
- Closed cell foam pad for ground insulation