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The Humboldt County Search & Rescue Team

At 2.3 million acres (~4,052 square miles), Humboldt County is roughly the size of Connecticut with 110 miles of coastline. There are abundant Federal, State, and County parks available for recreation of all kinds (hiking, fishing, and hunting).

   Usually, these excursions go well, but sometimes problems arise and the public requires assistance.  This is where our Search and Rescue (SAR) team comes into play.  If needed, the Sheriff’s department will dispatch us to assist them in search efforts. Depending on the type of emergency, our group can organize personnel and equipment for either land or water rescues.  We have 35 members currently on staff ready to respond 24/7.


During a search, a deputy from the Sheriff’s department is designated as the “Incident Commander” (IC).  The IC then develops an operation plan with the assistance of SAR team search managers. Once a plan is created the SAR team is given their assignments. We deploy our personnel in teams of two or more depending on the search parameters.

   Some searches are planned, such as an evidence search. Most are not planned, such as a lost hiker. Once we have been “called-out”, we meet and prepare equipment needed at our main quarters in Eureka.  Members who live in outlying areas of the county typically respond in their personal vehicles or meet the team in transit. This allows for the quickest response times.



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Brief History

   The Humboldt County Search and Rescue (SAR) team was established in 1950.  It was primarily an all-mounted group (i.e., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Posse) but over the years it has grown into what it is today. This group is entirely staffed by volunteer community members dedicated to responding 24/7 when able. We are able to operate thanks to the generosity of private citizens and local businesses here in Humboldt County.