Join Inyo SAR

What Makes a SAR Member?

Our team provides rescue services for no financial return. We operate 24/7 all throughout the year, in all weather and in any type of terrain. Many of our missions take place at high altitude, at night, in the winter or in a storm so it is important that anyone considering joining is comfortable in these conditions or is willing to self select and stay at home.
Team Player
Team members support each other, and there are always many roles in a mission. The combination of all of our skills together creates a strong team, capable of many things. Each member plays a part to support the whole.
Missions are not easy. They are at inconvenient times and often in poor weather. Missions will push your limits physically and mentally. Yet, we respond.

How to Join: InyoSAR onboards new candidates twice annually.

• Attend a Meeting as a Guest

Year round our General Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month, and are open to the public.
7pm, at the Posse Hut: the first building on the right on Airport Rd, east of Bishop.

• Attend Intake Orientation and Interview

For anyone interested in joining our team, you are required to attend the intake orientation night held twice annually, which follows our General meeting on the first Thursday of January and July.

• Complete a Background Check

After the Intake Orientation, we will provide you with an application package, which you will need to complete and submit to the Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible. After you submit your packet and pass the background check, you will be sworn in at the March or September meetings.

• Attend Trainings and Missions

Once you are sworn in, you are eligible to attend all trainings and missions. Your participation level will dictate the depth to which you get to know our team and develop your rescue skills. Trainings are held on the third Thursday and Saturday of each month. Participation in missions are always at the discretion of the team leader.

• Get Voted In

As you become more familiar with our team and attend meetings, trainings, and participate in missions, you may become eligible to be voted on as a full team member.

About Our Team

Inyo County Search and Rescue is a non-profit corporation incorporated in 1952. Inyo County Search and Rescue team works under the authority of Inyo County Sheriff's department. On average we generally have 20 very active SAR volunteers and 50 SAR volunteers on our roster.

Inyo SAR responds to approximately 25 - 50 missions a year, with the majority of those missions taking place in the summer. Our missions are take place all across Inyo County, with the occasional mutual aid mission with other counties.

We specialize in high-altitude mountain and technical rescue, however we also search for lost hikers in the mountains or desert and respond to the scene of climbing falls, avalanches, base jumping accidents and paragliding crashes.

Most of our missions involve patient care, injury or illness treatment. Because of this basic first aid and a CPR certification are strongly recommended for all team members and guests. The majority of Inyo SAR members have or eventually obtain even higher certifications. Wilderness First Responder or EMT are the most common certification among team members although we highly value any working medical professionals including doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

Other skills that will help you stand out are efficiency with topo maps, using a compass and GPS, computer mapping (such as SarTopo), tracking, search strategy, rock climbing, winter travel and survival, 4wd, and much more.

An advanced backpacker will have most of the equipment required for basic operations, however those wanting to work in winter conditions, or on technical operations may need to augment their gear. You must own and maintain your own equipment, although the team does have some gear that may be borrowed for specialized missions.


Call-outs happen in all kinds of weather, and at any time of day or night. You can not predict when someone, somewhere, might be in trouble. As a volunteer, sometimes you just won’t be able to respond. And that’s okay. But, as a member of our team, you should respond when you are able.

If this all sounds good to you, please come to a general meeting (1st Thursdays of the month at 7pm). Introduce yourself, pick up an application packet, talk to the new member coordinator, and meet the others on the team. 

If you are only living in Bishop or Inyo County seasonally or temporarily, talk to us. We can sometimes work with these situations.