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State Search and Rescue Program

Oregon is a state in which residents and visitors from around the world enjoy a wide variety of outdoor recreation. Camping, hiking, swimming and skiing are just a few of the activities for which Oregon is known. But these activities may also result in the need to find people who become lost or injured. Oregon Search and Rescue (SAR) covers a broad spectrum that includes lost hikers to injured skiers or potential drownings, and much more. Its main purpose is to promote and assist SAR capabilities and resources in the State of Oregon with the underlying principle of saving lives. To serve this purpose the State liaisons with the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Search and Rescue Advisory Council (SARAC) who represent their 36 County SAR Coordinators.

Some search and rescue missions can be avoided by being prepared. Know where you're going, tell others where you are going and when you will return, and bring extra supplies.

The State of Oregon has a Search and Rescue Program Coordinator, who is based out of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and whose responsibilities include:  

  • Coordinate activities of state and federal agencies involved in search and rescue
  • Establish liaison with the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, and other public and private organizations and agencies involved in search and rescue
  • Provide on-scene search and rescue coordination when requested by an authorized person
  • Coordinate and process requests for the use of volunteers and equipment
  • Assist in developing training and outdoor education programs
  • Gather statistics in search and rescue operations
  • Gather and disseminate resource information of personnel, equipment and materials available for search and rescue


Avoid a search and rescue situation

For more information about Oregon’s Search and Rescue Program, contact:
Scott Lucas, State Search and Rescue Coordinator

SAR Regions Map

SAR Regions Map 

State and Oregon Emergency Management

Search and rescue mission calls are reported to the Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS), by the county sheriff or other county official in which the search and rescue originated. OERS is the primary point of contact by which any public agency provides the state notification of an emergency or disaster, or requests access to state or federal resources.
All counties are required to complete and submit a SAR report for every mission.
The State of Oregon has cooperative agreements with several agencies to assist in search and rescue missions.

Search and Rescue Standards

Oregon SAR promotes individual team and unit competence in all SAR disciplines. It develops confidence in the abilities of SAR volunteer’s statewide, developing standards defining the knowledge and skills SAR unit members must have. It also manages the certification procedure for volunteer search and rescue personnel. The State of Oregon Search and Rescue program is dedicated to providing and maintaining high levels of competence, professionalism, public service and ethics to the citizens of Oregon.  
There is an established set of standards and core competencies for Ground/Land Search and Rescue personnel in Oregon State. The standards document also outlines a process for changes, modifications and updates of the state core competency.  

Oregon SAR Data

The following statistical data outlining SAR missions in Oregon from 1997-2014 are available below:  

Oregon SAR Mission Reporting

SARCAT (Search and Rescue Collection & Analysis Tool) is a web-hosted application that simplifies the collection and analysis of SAR data reported from each county Sheriff’s SAR Coordinator.

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