Search and Rescue

Search and Rescue

About 600 Search and Rescue Missions (SAR) are conducted in the State of Arizona each year. These SAR missions involve individuals who are lost, injured, stranded or deceased in remote and most times inaccessible terrain.

Within all fifteen counties in Arizona, the Sheriffs are statutorily responsible for the conduct of search and rescue missions (ARS 11-441.C). Each Sheriff shares resources throughout the State.

The Arizona Search and Rescue Coordinators Association, a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed to support the Sheriff's in their mandated duties. The SAR Coordinators Association helps develop training standards, search techniques and standardization for search and rescue volunteers, county coordinators and other assisting agencies around the State of Arizona. The Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) covers SAR volunteers under workers compensation while working an active SAR mission or during training missions.

The State of Arizona Search and Rescue Coordinator provides 24/7 support for SAR operations to the County Sheriff's. This support includes the mobilization of SAR assets, incident management experience, eligible mission expense reimbursement and training.

The Arizona State Search and Rescue Coordinator also coordinates searches for missing aircraft, emergency locator transmitters (ELT) and personal locator beacons (PLB) within the State. These searches routinely include adjoining States and multiple jurisdictions. Success in these missions is part of a cooperative effort between County Sheriff's, the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), the Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and other state and federal assets.

If you require search or rescue assistance please contact your local Sheriff's Office through the 911 emergency call center.  If you need to contact the State SAR Coordinator directly, please call 1-800-411-2336. County Coordinators seeking mission numbers, are directed to the SARFORCE website.

The State SAR Coordinator assumed the duties of Warning Coordination in 2015. The Warning Coordinator links with various sources to identify natural, civil and technological hazards around the country, including those that may have a direct impact on Arizona. The Warning Coordinator communicates threats to public safety stakeholders and participants in statewide threat and hazard identification and data collection. The Warning Coordinator summarizes this information with periodic updates or as necessary.