Search & Rescue

Per RCW 38.52.400, the chief law enforcement officer of each political sub-division is responsible for the search and rescue activities in that area. In Spokane County, this is the Spokane County Sheriff's Office (SCSO).

The SCSO provides one designated Search & Rescue (SAR) Coordinator for the program: Deputy Thad Schultz. Otherwise, the SAR program is a 100% volunteer-based and is comprised of diverse citizen groups.

Volunteer management and special equipment requests are coordinated by Greater Spokane Emergency Management, but the specific training for SAR is done through the SCSO.

If a Search & Rescue activation is imminent, the SAR Coordinator will call out the specific team or teams needed for the situation. In addition, the SCSO's Air-1 and Marine units can be called in for support if needed.

Search and Rescue Council

There are a number of groups that support the SAR program, and all are 501c3 non-profit organizations. The SAR Council is also a 501c3 non-profit  and is the overarching support organization for the SAR teams.

The goal of the council is to provide education, financial support, fundraising, marketing and public relations for all the teams. Funds acquired are used to help cover team equipment, training, travel, all-weather clothing and other expenses.

Each team has their area of expertise and one member from each team has a representative on the Council. In conjunction with the SCSO, the SAR Council coordinates four mock exercises per year.

For questions about the Council, please contact the SAR Council.

To donate to the Search and Rescue Council, you can do that through PayPal. Thank you in advance for your support!

SAR Teams

All members are required to be certified to be a part of the SAR program. Certification is done through a 40-60 hour academy run by the Sheriff's Office. 

We are always looking for new volunteers, so if you are interested, please contact one of the teams below or if you have general questions about the SAR program, please contact Deputy Thad Schultz.

Explorer Search And Rescue (ESAR)

Spokane's ESAR trains youth and young adults in search and rescue techniques, survival, communications, and first-aid. They assist law enforcement in missing and lost person searches, as well as with evidence recovery in many major crimes. Please visit Spokane ESAR to learn more.

Inland Empire Bloodhounds (IEB)

Bloodhounds make excellent search and rescue dogs because of their keen ability to track a specific scent. If you have a bloodhound and are interested in considering search and rescue work, please visit IEB or contact Kathy Maguire

Inland Northwest Search and Rescue (INSAR)

INSAR provides search and rescue personnel and resources that are available 24/7 and can work all seasons in wilderness, rural and/or urban environments. For more information about the organization, please visit INSAR or send them an email.

Inter-Mountain Search Dogs (ISD)

This group provides professionally trained dogs and handlers to assist with air scent, trailing, and human remains detection, and supports both Spokane and Kootenai counties. Their website provides great pictures of their work and has a contact form if you have questions.

Winter Knights (WK)

Winter Knights provide ATV support in summer and snow mobile support in winter. For more information, visit Winter Knights.