WHO WE ARE
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit (CCSSAR) is made up of more than 100 members from every walk of life. We have members of all ages, from their early twenties to eighties, and with varying skills and experience.
On our very active team, we have medical professionals, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs volunteering when they are not on duty. Our membership also includes writers, office managers, construction industry professionals, retired pilots, students, teachers, nurses and counselors to name just a handful of the many occupations represented on the team.
Our members enjoy a wide range of pastimes and recreation. While having outdoor skills and experience is certainly a plus, it is not a prerequisite for membership.
CCSSAR is proud to be a member of The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA). The MRA is comprised of highly-skilled, active mountain rescue teams from around the country and has stringent requirements for membership. To become accredited by MRA, each regular member team must pass three tests, including high-angle (or rock) rescue, snow and ice, and wilderness search.
Because MRA teams are test-qualified by their peers, local, state and federal agencies feel confident about working with them on search and rescue operations. Accredited teams must re-test every five years to maintain their accreditation.
CCSSAR is called out for a variety of missions throughout the year – in all types of weather, on weekdays, weekends and holidays.
We are primarily a remote area or wilderness SAR team. General missions often involve searching for those reported missing or lost in rural and remote, backcountry areas. Our services may also be utilized for law enforcement evidence searches, disaster response and missing person searches in urban areas. General members may be called to assist with technical rescue operations when additional manpower is required.
The team also participates in a variety of Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) activities, represents the unit in parades and other public functions, provides patrol to assist law enforcement during large public events, and assists with other types of operations at the request of the Sheriff.
We are, however, not trained in, and do not participate in, the higher risk activities on the front lines of law enforcement.
The following is an overview of the types and number of missions the team has participated in over the past few years:
2012 Search & Rescues*
2013 Search & Rescues*
2014 Search & Rescues*
*Searches (looking for the lost): 2012 (55), 2013 (40), 2014 (31) | Rescues (rescuing the injured): 2012 (19), 2013 (47), 2014 (47)
Specialized SAR Teams
After completing the membership process, a new member is designated a General Member and may be deployed on operations as assigned by the SAR Coordinator. General members who are in good standing may choose to continue training in a more technical or in-depth discipline of SAR and become a Specialized Team Member.