Rescuers searching for new members in Douglas County |

Rescuers searching for new members in Douglas County

Staff Report

Of the 740 square miles in Douglas County, almost a third is the rugged terrain of the Pine Nut Mountains and the Carson Range.

Finding people lost or injured in that wilderness falls to the volunteers of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team.

The team is seeking physically fit and energetic individuals to participate in its upcoming April academy.

“Douglas County Search and Rescue is a highly qualified and respected team comprised of approximately 50 trained volunteer members within the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and responds to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Bernadette Smith. “They are frequently called out to assist surrounding counties in their rescues, it requires a considerable commitment, but is tremendously rewarding when a life is saved.”

The team is accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association and responds to high and low angle rope rescue events, reports of lost or injured backcountry snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and hiking incidents.

“The volunteers also handle fire evacuations, river or flood rescues and lost or overdue off-road drivers,” Smith said. “Any previous experience in any of this areas are useful, but not a requirement to attend the academy and joining this highly skilled team. They also have a canine team to assist in locating lost subjects.”

Smith said the team is a great opportunity for anyone 18 or older who enjoys the outdoors and would like to serve the community in an emergency.

“Comprehensive training is provided to ensure all members are safe and capable,” she said. “There is no testing for physical limitations; however members must be able to go out into the backcountry in any type of weather.”

The academy begins April 6. Applications are available at, and must be submitted by March 1.