Search and Rescue Groups

Virginia's Search and Rescue System is made up almost entirely of dedicated volunteers that respond wherever and whenever they are needed – working around the clock in any weather to search for missing persons and to perform technical rescues. Search and Rescue emergencies can occur in any community, under a variety of circumstances. Missing persons can be crime victims, confused patients, lost travelers or runaways. They may be injured or stranded in a remote area – and could need medical treatment or evacuation. Virginia's SAR volunteers are highly trained individuals who:

  • perform cliff and cave rescues;
  • search with tracking and air scent dogs;
  • provide remote-area medical care and evacuation; and
  • conduct water, body and evidence searches.

Volunteers can be dog handlers, foot searchers, team leaders, sign cutters, trackers, incident commanders or cave or technical rescuers.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinates a statewide network of professional Search and Rescue organizations whose volunteers train continually in the classroom or in the field. If you would like to volunteer with a Search and Rescue team in your locality, contact an office near you.

Visit our Search and Rescue Program section to learn more about this area