What is the training time commitment if I join?
We usually have one meeting and one training event per month from September through May. In addition, we expect new members to attend a training class in basic search and rescue skills (affectionately known as SAR 101) which involves 12 evening class sesions over a 2-month time period, plus some training events on weekends.
Once you complete SAR 101 in your first year, team members must attend 30 hours of training a year to remain eligible for missions.
If I join, do I have to go on every mission?
It is not necessary to participate in every mission. We recognize that people have other obligations in their lives and can not always participate. However, we do expect all members to put in at least 30 hours of participation per year. This time does not all have to be on search missions; training sessions meetings, and public service events also count toward the 30-hour requirement.
Can I join EMR if I am not a climber?
If you have backcountry skills such as backpacking and backcountry skiing but no rock climbing or mountaineering experience, the best route to take to get involved in Search and Rescue is to join the Ground Search and Rescue team
This group does searches in moderate terrain, sometimes in remote settings, and does not do high-angle rock rescue or rescues requiring mountaineering skills. Meanwhile, you can begin to acquire climbing skills by taking a basic mountaineering class, such as the one offered jointly by Eugene Mountain Rescue and the Obsidians every spring. Once you have some basic skills you may join the mountain rescue group.
How many searches are there in a year?
In a typical year, there are about 1000 search and rescue missions in the state, and roughly 100 of them occur in Lane County.
Is EMR a government organization?
Eugene Mountain Rescue is a 501c(3) nonprofit, volunteer organization. We are not part of the Sheriff's Office or any other governmental agency.
Who pays for search and rescue?
Lane County Sheriff's Office has two full-time people who coordinate search and rescue missions in the county.
When someone is reported missing, the first person to respond is generally from law enforcement (for example, a deputy from the sheriff's office or one of the Search and Rescue coordinators). Once it has been established that there is a need to conduct a search, the people who are sent into the field are generally volunteers.
Unless the search becomes very extensive and lasts for multiple days, the county's costs for the search are minimal.
We are opposed to the idea of charging people for rescue. If someone is missing and his or her family hesitates to call because of concerns about what it might cost, it is more likely that the person will become more seriously lost or develop a life-threatening medical issue before being found.