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Volunteer Search and Rescue

Riverside County search and rescue teams are an essential component of the Sheriff's Department as they are primarily responsible for all search and rescue missions involving lost or stranded persons in the County of Riverside.

Members respond to a variety of locations including: desert landscapes, woodland areas, and rocky and mountainous terrain. Members may also be requested under the California Mutual Aid System to respond to other counties for search requests or natural disasters.

The Riverside County Search and Rescue team members are highly trained for their environments and meet on a monthly basis at various locations within the county. Volunteers regularly respond to emergencies at all hours, day or night, and often train with the Riverside County Aviation Team regarding hoist training. No prior experience is required, however, applicants must be team-oriented, willing to learn and improve outdoor skills, and in good shape.

The Teams

There are four volunteer rescue teams currently working with the Sheriff's Department:

How to Volunteer

Each community's needs are different in terms of population, terrain and lifestyle.  Citizen volunteers must be over the age of 18. Volunteer hours can be flexible and scheduled to your available time.

To contribute your time and skills to your community, please contact your local volunteer coordinator for the area in which you wish to work.

Making a Difference

Here are some of the real-life rescues where search and rescue volunteers have used their skills to assist people in distress.

Lost Hiker - Cabazon Station
July, 2014
Deputies from the Cabazon Station responded to the Palm Springs Tram reference a lost hiker who had started a day hike at the top of the Palm Springs Tram on the San Jacinto State Park side. An hour into his hike he was separated from the other hikers in his party. No one in the hiking party was equipped for an extended hike, which would include proper hiking clothing, extra water or wilderness maps. When he did not return to the Tram area, his hiking party called 911 for assistance.

Deputies responded to the top of the tram with members of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit to begin the search. The California Highway Patrol provided air support for the mission, but their efforts were hampered by the low ceiling. RMRU located him in the Little Round Valley area of the San Jacinto wilderness. He had started a signal fire; however, the fire spread beyond his control. The U.S. Forest Service Fire Department was dispatched to handle the fire, which was fortunately limited to a small area. RMRU personnel escorted him back to the upper tram station where they remained until the first tram brought them down the hill the next morning.

Lost Off-Road Vehicle River - Palm Desert Station
February, 2014
Deputies from the Palm Desert Sheriff's Station responded to Pinyon Pines in reference to a report of a lost off-road vehicle rider. Four adults were taking turns driving a newly-purchased off-road vehicle northbound on Palm Canyon Drive. One rider was last seen riding northbound on Palm Canyon Drive on a well-traveled dirt roadway. When he was not seen for approximately a half hour, the other three adults got concerned and began a search for him then contacted the Sheriff's Department. Riverside County Sheriff's Aviation Unit and Desert Search and Rescue were activated. The rider was located five hours after being reported as missing. He was in good physical health and uninjured.

 

 

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Volunteer Opportunities
Desert Search & Rescue Riverside Mountain Rescue Riverside County Search Dogs
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Riverside County Rescue Units
Desert Search & Rescue Riverside Mountain Rescue Riverside County Search Dogs
Reserve Deputy Sheriff
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Station Volunteer Coordinators
Cabazon   951-922-7100
Colorado River   760-921-7900
Eastvale   951-955-2600
Hemet   951-791-3400
Indian Wells   760-836-1600
Jurupa Valley   951-955-2600
Lake Elsinore   951-245-3300
La Quinta   760-863-8990
Moreno Valley   951-486-6700
Norco   951-955-2600
Palm Desert   760-836-1600
Perris   951-210-1000
Rancho Mirage   760-836-1600
San Jacinto   951-654-2702
Southwest   951-696-3000
Thermal   760-863-8990
Riverside Sheriff's Stations

Riverside County Sheriff Station Areas
Law Enforcement Agencies