Search and Rescue
As defined by Arizona State Statute, the responsibility to conduct or coordinate, “search and rescue operations involving the life or health of any person” fall upon the sheriff of that county (ARS 11-441). The statute further states that the sheriff, “may assist in such operations in another county at the request of that county's sheriff, and may request assistance from any persons or agencies in the fulfillment of duties under this subsection.”
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has provided search and rescue services for many individuals over the years, and each case is treated with the same respect for the victim’s safety and family’s concerns. However, the Search and Rescue Unit also is trained to assist during times of disaster, such as during wild land fire evacuations and participates in public education.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has a dedicated full-time sergeant to manage the Search and Rescue (SAR) program. The SAR Unit is made up of other deputies and over 100 unpaid volunteers who are specially trained for search and rescue operations. There is an incorporated unit of Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Flagstaff (501c) and an unincorporated unit in Page, Arizona.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Unit is "always ready when you need us!" Our unit and personnel have received several state and national awards and recognition for their services.
In addition, the Mounted Unit of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, which is made up of both deputies and volunteers, is trained in and aids in search and rescue missions. We regularly receive assistance during training and missions from other agencies including Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Arizona Snowbowl. These agencies have provided countless resources and expertise that have helped to make our program successful.
Search & Rescue Methods / Materials
Coconino County's many exciting outdoor recreational opportunities attract thousands of outdoor enthusiasts every year. Many hunters, skiers, boaters, mountain bikers, hikers and rock climbers get lost and/or injured. The SAR Unit utilizes a variety of methods to locate and render aid to people in need. Team members undergo extensive training in:
- Alpine operations
- ATVs, 4x4s, snowmobiles / snow cat operations
- Global Positioning System (GPS) operations
- High-angle rescue
- Low-angle rescue
- Map and compass navigation
- Mounted- and heli-rescue to conduct searches and rescues
- Personal locator beacons