Search and Rescue Posse
The sheriff’s office continues to pursue re-organization and has now consolidated outside volunteer search and rescue teams into one unified PCSO Search and Rescue Posse. This posse is separate and distinct from the law enforcement Posse and shall only be granted authority for search and rescue functions.
The sheriff’s office has decided to follow the models of county SAR teams from across the nation by reorganizing into Pinal County Search and Rescue Posse. These volunteers will now be covered by the sheriff’s office liability insurance for all rescue missions and training. In the past, these volunteer groups have focused many hours on raising contributions to fund their training and equipment purchases. The sheriff's office will now assume some of these expenses, which shall allow for focus on training and actual search and rescue missions. These progressive reforms are designed to modernize operations and improve public safety. Visit the SAR Posse Page www.superstitionmountainsrescue.org
Currently the Posse consists of 26 members with an additional 8 members who are reaching deployment status.
- Ground Search Team- Every member of the Posse is on the Ground Search Team. The Ground Search Team is responsible for conducting the initial “Hasty” search and grid search techniques.
- Medical Team- SAR Deputies are Emergency Medical Technicians along with a few Posse members. Every member is trained in Wilderness First Response (WFR) and Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
- Technical Ropes Rescue- This is a highly trained group responsible for High and Low angle rescue. There are currently 5 Posse certified to conduct short haul and helo rappel with DPS Ranger as well.
- Swift Water Rescue – This team is called to aid in the rescue of personnel who are in need of rescue from any source of water
- Base Camp – This group usually consists of newer members on the team or persons who have not made qualification hikes or who are not yet field deployable. This position is not in any way undermined for the necessity and resources these volunteers can provide.
- K-9 Air scent and Cadaver Search- This is a group of volunteers who have canines which have been certified and meet the standards. These volunteers are a great resource when looking for someone we believe is already deceased when we start the search.
- 4x4 off road teams- This is a group of volunteers who have their own vehicles and equipment necessary to navigate the treacherous off road network within the county.
Each group in SAR Posse has a team leader and a Deputy assigned for oversight of that team. (See attached Organizational Chart) In addition to the special teams, SAR Posse is structured with board members. We have a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Recruitment, and a PIO. All of the members have equal amount of input and no one, including the President, has any more authority than another. The Sergeant over the unit makes the final determination. The board meets every quarter and discusses issues, fundraising, recruitment, and debriefs.
The unit specializes in providing a highly effective Man-Tracking and K9 Search and Rescue resource for the citizens of Pinal County and the State of Arizona. The SAR Posse is skilled in wilderness first aid, orienteering and land navigation, technical rescue, desert survival and consists of individuals who attained certification as NASAR SAR Tech II Rescue Technicians. These skills enable team members to safely and efficiently search for overdue hikers, individuals who may have encountered wilderness related problems or those who may have wandered away due to physical, emotional or diminished mental capacities.
The SAR Posse has responded to requests for assistance from the Gila River Indian Nation, Tohono O’Odham Indian Nation, FBI, INS, Arizona Department of Emergency Services and various Sheriff’s Departments from throughout the state of Arizona. The SAR Posse is a team of dedicated ‘Volunteer Search and Rescue Professionals’, who enjoy volunteering their time so, ‘That Others May Live’.