Interested in Joining the Upper Ojai
Search and Rescue Team?
Are there membership requirements?
You must be at least 21
years old and in good standing with the community. Because of the nature
of Search and Rescue (SAR), each prospective member must pass a
federal background check that is conducted by the Sheriff's Department. Good
physical condition and the desire to learn and help others are also
required. Familiarity with the back country is a strong asset as well as
prior Search and Rescue experience.
Does it matter where I live?
There are eight SAR teams in
the county of Ventura. Three are Mountain Rescue teams, which are based
in Ojai, Fillmore and Thousand Oaks. Due to the geographical area of
responsibilities Upper Ojai members usually live in Ojai, Santa Paula
and Ventura. Fillmore team members usually live in Fillmore or Piru and
East Valley members live in Moorpark and Simi Valley. The Admin, Canine,
Medical, Dive and Posse reside throughout Ventura County.
Do SAR members get paid?
Search and Rescue members are
strictly volunteer. Most members get permission from their employers to
respond to Search and Rescue call outs. The satisfaction of finding and
returning someone to their loved ones or rescuing someone in distress
provides tremendous satisfaction for team members.
How much time does SAR take?
Search and Rescue is
definitely time consuming. For each team meets once a month for team
meetings. Each team trains one weekend a month and averages 3-5 full
days a month for searches and or rescues (varies between teams). This
can be greatly increased if a team is called to assist another team.
This increases their time commitments. Families are also affected and
need to be as dedicated to the purpose as much as the team member.
Does SAR cost members anything?
Members are responsible
for providing all their personal gear. Personal gear usually consists of
team cold weather gear, team uniform, boots and other miscellaneous
items. The Sheriff's Department supplies the basic rescue equipment
required to function safely and some foul weather gear. Teams purchase
additional equipment with donations raised from the
I'm still interested,
What do I do now? If you would like
to dedicate the time to become a member of the Ventura County Sheriff's
Volunteer Search and Rescue Program you should request an application or
you can click on the link below. The application is then forwarded to
the team you've shown interest in. Teams have a limit on the number of
members but they usually accept a few new members every year. Following
an acceptable background check you will be notified of the additional
steps needed for membership. Call the Search and Rescue
coordinator at (805) 388-4257 if you have additional questions. Or feel
free to e-mail us.