The Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue program (SAR) responds to lost, injured or missing people that are in need of rescue and/or recovery from natural or technological danger within Lane County on a 24-hour basis as mandated by ORS 404.200.
This includes but is not limited to the recovery of deceased subjects, aircraft related beacon searches, support of criminal investigations with evidence searches, disaster response, and general logistic support of Sheriff's Office personnel.
2012 Search and Rescue Annual Report
GROUND SEARCH AND RESCUE
Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) is a non-profit (501c3) volunteer organization. The GSAR program consists of volunteers over the age of 19 who want to participate in basic searches. Basic searches include missions in moderate terrain. Members, who must maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness, are trained to basic state search and rescue standards and meet and train one to two days per month. Initial training is 100-plus hours, and then a minimum of 30 volunteer hours each year to meet state requirements. Volunteers may be called out on missions day or night, participate in public education and service events, and work approximately 75 volunteer hours per year.
EXPLORER POST 178
Explorer post 178 consists of young men and women between 14 and 20 years of age. This group is involved in searches within Lane County. They can be called upon at any time, day or night, to search for a missing person or as support personnel in base camp operations. They may also provide assistance to other, more technical search teams, such as the Water Search and Rescue Unit and Eugene Mountain Rescue.
Regular meetings and outings occur throughout the year to provide essential training in preparation to search involvement. Applicants selected for this program must be in good physical health, obtain most of their own equipment, and maintain a "C" or greater in each class in school.
EUGENE MOUNTAIN RESCUE
Eugene Mountain Rescue (EMR) is a non-profit volunteer organization. EMR’s primary purposes is high angle rock/cliff rescue and rescue work above the snow line in a mountainous environment. EMR also participates in wilderness searches on steep terrain, and assists in recoveries and other types of searches. This group operates in Lane County and other areas of the state, when needed. Applicants should be skilled in rock climbing and mountaineering, and be equipped for all four seasons. Those who may not have climbing or mountaineering skills, but are willing to learn, are also welcome as associate level team members.
LANE COUNTY SHERIFF’S MOUNTED POSSE
Consists of volunteers with a desire to use equestrian skills in a rural or wilderness environment to assist the Sheriff and citizens of Lane County. A sound, manageable, western type horse (14.2 to 16 hands) is required as well as a full range of western tack and transportation for rider and horse. Functional activities of the Posse include ceremonies, drills, public education, search and rescue, and various civic activities. The Sheriff's Posse continues a tradition of community-based law enforcement.
LANE COUNTY TRACKERS
Lane County Trackers are volunteers who have taken numerous tracking classes in addition to classes required by the Oregon State Sheriff's Association. Trackers are trained to look for human footprints and other evidence to determine human passage and direction of travel. Trackers often work in conjunction with other search and rescue groups. At times, trackers are called to other counties to assist in search and rescue efforts. Trackers provide their own equipment, and are available for search and rescue missions around the clock, at any time of year, in any kind of weather. The picture above shows a three person tracking team during training. They follow signs of human passage (over 3,500 signs every mile).
LANE COUNTY WATER SEARCH AND RESCUE UNIT
The Lane County Water Search and Rescue Unit is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the citizens of Lane County. This unit assists the Sheriff’s Office with water related functions, including recoveries, evidence searches, vehicle recoveries, and surface rescues. Divers supply their own SCUBA equipment. The team consists of advanced open water certified divers, swift water rescue technicians, power boat, drift boat, and raft operators, as well as shore support personnel. The picture shows a Dive Team during a recovery mission - training and teamwork during these difficult jobs in black water is a necessity.
LANE COUNTY SEARCH DOG TEAM
The Lane County Search Dog Team is a group of volunteers who provide trained search dog teams as part of the Sheriff's search and rescue program. Team members are available throughout the year for search and rescue within Lane County and are often called upon to assist other agencies throughout the State. Team members provide all their own equipment and supply and train their own canines. A rigorous training program takes approximately two to three years to complete. Dogs use water scent skills to locate a drowning victim and divers perform the recovery.
SPECIAL VEHICLES GROUP
The off-road support program is a group of volunteers who participate in search and rescue activities that involve working on and off unimproved roads in a rural or forested environment. Volunteers must be certified in First Aid and CPR, have experience in wilderness survival, off-road driving and recovery, and own a off-road equipped vehicle.
The Special Vehicle Group is a 16-person unit that provides off-road vehicles able to support the Sheriff's Office during snow and ice conditions, and skills to travel on primitive "double track" roads. Winches, VHF radio and survival gear add to the capability for use in permeter containment, road search and other SAR functions.
LANE COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS
The Lane County Amateur Radio Operators are comprised of FCC licensed amateur radio operators, who voluntarily provide alternative communications before, during and after major emergencies or disaster.
Some links to other SAR sites:
- Provide services per ORS 404.200 (see above).
- Continue to provide appropriate training for volunteers. Includes divers, high angle rescue, ground search, beacon search, water rescue and boat operations, search dogs and handlers, 4-wheel drive, man trackers and search managers.
- Continued public education relating to outdoor, wilderness, and water safety.
- Interface with Forestlands Emergency Services, various police agencies, rural fire departments, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry to provide improved initial local response in support of search and rescue.
- Continued “team management” of the program. Train volunteers to assist with the decision making process.