Search and Rescue

The Sheriff is responsible for every search in Josephine County, as provided under ORS 404; therefore, every active member of this organization is deputized. Subsequently, only those of high moral standards and who are driven to help others are accepted.

Each active member has their own personal equipment with additions provided by the organization. Members of this organization are from all walks of life. They are willing to be on-call whenever needed, day or night. Josephine County Search and Rescue is an all-weather, versatile unit, equipped with everything needed to conduct a well organized search. The individuals have made themselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at little to no cost to the county.

In addition to active duty members, Search and Rescue has specialty teams for specialized rescue situations. These teams include:
  • The Dive Team
  • The Mountain Rescue Unit
  • Mounted SAR
  • K9 Unit
  • ATV and Snow Unit
  • Communications Unit
  • Building and Vehicle Maintenance Unit

In 2011, Search and Rescue volunteers donated 14,412 hours:
997 hours to public events
1,609 hours to SAR missions
11,806 hours to training and preparation

"So that others may live..."

Requirements for Members

Every member of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Division must meet certain standards and training to ensure a safe and successful search and/or rescue. The standards are developed and maintained by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (OSSA).

These certification standards are the minimum which meet state requirements of the Office of Emergency Management and still allow the flexibility for the specific needs or conditions in which our ground personnel operate. The OSSA certification standards are the minimum standards for SAR personnel who will be involved in the field with ground SAR operations as well.

To obtain and maintain the Oregon State Search & Rescue Certification, each member must:
  1. Obtain and maintain at least a Basic First Aid card (or better) and a valid Health Care Provider (CPR) card.
  2. Successfully complete all performance objective skill tests and obtain a minimum score of 80 % on the written exam.
  3. Obtain a SAR certification card signed by the Sheriff of the county where the member’s SAR unit is based.
  4. Attend at least 30 hours of continuing educations, approved by the Sheriff and/or SAR coordinator, each year in a field related to Search and Rescue; to include but not limited to:
    • Oregon Revised Statute 404
    • Radio communications
    • Map and compass (land navigation)
    • Search techniques and strategy
    • Crime scene security
    • Emergency survival skills
    • Incident Command System (ICS)
    • Man tracking
    • Helicopter safety

Apply Today! Applications can be either downloaded online or picked up from the front counter of the Sheriff’s Office or from a member of Search & Rescue.

Completed applications can be dropped off at the Sheriff's Office Records Department or mailed to:

Josephine County Emergency Management 601 NW 5th Street Grants Pass, OR 97526

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