County sheriffs are mandated by Colorado state statute to provide search and rescue teams within their respective jurisdictions. Chaffee County’s search and rescue teams, one in each end of the county, are among the finest and most experienced in Colorado.
Each team consists of about fifty members, all of whom are unpaid volunteers that provide most of their own equipment. Teams are 501(c) organizations under the US tax code, and donations to SAR are tax deductible
With twelve mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation, Chaffee County is often called the “Home of the Fourteeners.” The Colorado Trail traverses many of them.
Search and rescue teams typically are called out on missions sixty or more times each year. Those missions vary from rescuing hikers lost on a mountain, pulling injured rafters from the Arkansas River, and searching for downed aircraft. Those needing assistance may be hikers, hunters, skiers, children, or elderly citizens. They may be lost, injured, or in jeopardy. The terrain may be rugged mountains, level farmland, or urban residential. Team volunteers also assist with other incidents such as major crime scene searches, wildland fires, special events, and various activities during natural disasters.
Chaffee County Search and Rescue (SAR) consists of some of the most conscientious, skilled, and dedicated people in our county. They are our neighbors and friends, and selflessly volunteer their time and resources in service to the community.