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Search & Rescue (SAR)
About the Team
Since 1975, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team has been responding to search and rescue calls of all kinds, in all seasons, and at all hours. It is one of the oldest teams in continuous service in the state of California.

Tuolumne County is a central location for numerous tourist attractions including all seasonal mountain and water recreational sports. TCSSAR (T-SAR) maintains a steady mission-call volume throughout the year averaging 50 calls per year. Many lives have been saved by the team which is composed of over 30 volunteers who often risk life and limb to assist others in need.

Tuolumne County SAR disciplines include:
  • Ground searcher with GPS, Map and Compass
  • Medical
  • K-9s
  • Equestrian, Snowmobiles and ATV
  • Air Operations (Stanislaus County and other mutual aid)
  • Swift water and Ice rescue
  • Technical rope rescue, specializing in both high and low angle operations
  • Incident Support team with GIS mapping and resource management
  • Dive recovery with Sheriff's boat patrol dive team

Search and Rescue volunteers are typically Tuolumne County residents age 18 and older. Experience is preferable for new applicants, however, we do train new volunteers. Team members must have a desire to help others. Applicants must be physically fit and ready to work in extreme environments with a team approach. Volunteers donate their time and efforts so that others may live!

Tuolumne County SAR members volunteer over 7000 training and mission hours to serve their community, and those who visit, as well as providing mutual aid to surrounding counties.

Tuolumne County SAR is receives support from Tuolumne County Sheriffs Office, and donations from various supporters in the community, families of rescued individuals.

For more information contact us at the Tuolumne County Search and Rescue website or call the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office at 209-533-5855.

James W. Mele
James W. Mele
Sheriff / Coroner

28 N. Lower Sunset Drive
Sonora, CA  95370

Ph: 209-533-5855
Fx: 209-533-5831
Administration Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ph: 209-533-5815
Dispatch Hours