We are the Ground Team, one of eight teams that make up the entire Placer County Search and Rescue (SAR) effort. We are a volunteer organization, which receives its authority and funding from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

Our mission is to be ready and able to search for and rescue lost or missing persons, provide assistance at crimes scenes, provide other general assistance as directed by the Sheriff's Department.

We are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. We leave our homes usually within a half-hour after receiving a call for our assistance. It is not unusual to get a call in the early morning hours, e.g. 3 A.M. We go throughout Placer County and upon request to other counties in Northern California. We go in all types of weather in all the seasons. Hence, we carry pagers or cell phones, which make us always accessible. Occasionally, we are used at crime scenes to help the Sheriff’s Department search for evidence.

Regular meetings are held each month on the third Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. We usually have our meetings in the field in order to fine-tune our SAR skills.

What you can expect from Membership:

  1. Satisfaction in knowing you are able to help others.
  2. Training to establish and/or improve your SAR skills.
  3. Comradeship with SAR members from around the county and the state.
  4. Direction/supervision by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.
  5. Liability coverage under the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) while actively training or searching.

What is expected of SAR Members:

  1. Be in good health and physical condition.
  2. Attend monthly meetings and training.
  3. Provide your own personal equipment and clothing.
  4. Complete the SAR Technician Training Program within 24 months of DSW card date.
  5. Participate in searches.
  6. Comply with the Team by-laws and the PCSO SAR Policies and Procedures.
  7. Follow the instructions of the team leaders and Sheriff’s Department explicitly and promptly.
  8. Participate in public service events.
  9. Participate in field training exercises (FTX).

The SAR Technician Training Program consists of the following classes:

  • SAR Fundamentals
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Map and Compass
  • Rough Terrain Rescue
  • Tracking
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • CPR

The classes are free and may be taken in any order. The classes are taught by PCSO SAR instructors and generally take one weekday evening and a full Saturday and Sunday.  Map and Compass, Rough Terrain Rescue and Tracking must be retaken and passed every 24 months.  Also all unit members must maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications.

If you are interested in joining the Ground Team:*

  1. Attend the Team's information session (contact Membership Director for details).
  2. Attend three monthly Team meetings within 6 months of attending Information Session. Interview with the Board of Directors after attending three meetings.
  3. Upon approval by the Board, complete an application, and submit to the Sheriff’s Department for a background investigation.
  4. Your application is forwarded to the California Office of Emergency Services for review.
  5. Upon approval, you will begin a twelve-month probationary period. You may start your SAR Technician training.
  6. You must become a SAR Technician before you may participate in a search.

The other teams that make up the remainder of Placer County SAR are Dog, Four-Wheel Drive, Motorcycle, Communications, Mounted, Mountain Rescue, and the Nordic Team in the Lake Tahoe basin. The Swift Water Unit is staffed primarily with deputies.

*Please note: The Ground Team is currently at capacity and is not accepting applications at this time. There are several other Teams within the PCSO SAR organization. For more information regarding one or more of these teams please go to Placer County Search and Rescue or contact:


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