Become a Member

Yolo SAR is actively recruiting new members and we encourage prospective applicants to submit an application.

"Search and rescue is a rather large commitment in your time and money. In the first year, much of your time and effort will go into your training."

Dear prospective Yolo County Search and Rescue team member,

  1. We have provided some preliminary information about the Yolo County Search and Rescue team. It is important to realize that as a volunteer organization we need to be well-trained, well outfitted, and prepared 24/7, 365 days a year to assist in case of an emergency. We are not a social club and we consider ourselves unpaid professionals.

  2. What is the Yolo County Search and Rescue team? We are a newly formed team of volunteers who are training together to act as a search and rescue team to find missing individuals within Yolo County at the purview of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, we may be asked to provide mutual aid to other counties to search for missing individuals.

  3. How can I join? There is a lengthy application, prerequisite on-line training, criminal background check, and interview panel. This process could take up to 6 months.

  4. What search and rescue (SAR) skills will I learn? Survival skills, search skills, rescue skills, human tracking, map and compass skills, GPS knowledge, rescue rope rigging, radio skills and wilderness medical first aid.

  5. What is the time commitment? We hold one monthly general membership meeting in the evening. We train every second Saturday of each month. You must attend 6 out of the 12 general meetings per year. You must be able to attend 6 out of the 12 weekend trainings per year.

  6. How much will this cost me? You will need to have a fully equipped SAR backpack and uniform. You are responsible for your own transportation and meals to meetings and trainings. A fair estimate to purchase the startup equipment and uniform would be in the $700 range.

  7. Physical fitness is essential. You must be able to walk 8 miles with a 25 pound pack on your back within 4 hours.

  8. You will need to be CPR certified and basic first aid certified. Advanced medical training may apply.

  9. There are several online certifications that are required and these are free (see below).

  10. You will be required to participate in an unexpected night out which is a night alone with only your 24-hour pack. All team members will participate conduct this event.

  11. As a SAR team member, you are representing the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office it is with great pride you serve in such and honorable position.

As you can see, search and rescue is a rather large commitment in your time and money. In the first year, much of your time and effort will go into your training . Please be certain that this is a commitment that you can keep before going through the vetting process. It’s our hope you’ll decide that search and rescue is an endeavor you will pursue with personal commitment. Once you are mission ready, you can take great pride in knowing that you are very well-trained and a huge asset to your community.

Required On-line application and training:

Please use the following links to apply as a volunteer, register your contact information, and complete the three (3) required on-line training courses:


Fill out and submit the Yolo Search and Rescue Team volunteer application.


Take and pass the following two FEMA online courses:

1. ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System

2. ICS 700: Introduction to NIMS


Take and pass the following Alzheimer's Association online course:

1. Approaching Alzheimer's: First Responder Training

Please print copies of these course completion certificates upon completion and turn these certificates in to the Volunteer SAR Coordinator.

Keep copies for your records.