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Search and Rescue Division

With the Absaroka - Beartooth Wilderness at our back door, the inviting backroads in the Pryors and public lands in every direction, Carbon County draws adventurers from across the globe. Despite the best laid plans, even the most experienced outdoors-person can get into trouble in the back country. That is why the SAR Division is ready at a moment’s notice. 

Because the area draws day-hikers, backpackers, climbers, skiers, hunters and many other out-door enthusiasts. Our search and rescue team has to have a broad skill-set and be ready for any type of weather. Team members are trained in backcountry navigation, wilderness first aid, technical high & low-angle rope rescues, helicopter evacuations and many other skills needed to assist in rescue operations.

SAR members respond to:

-Lost person searches (urban, front and back country)

-Backcountry Injuries

-Rope rescues (low and high angle including ice rescue)

-Avalanche and Swift water Rescues

-Support for the Sheriff’s office, other Divisions and agencies

-Evacuation notification

In Montana, the county sheriff has the responsibility for providing Search and Rescue services. In Carbon County, the Sheriff’s office has contracted with Red Lodge Fire Rescue to provide SAR in our area.

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2017 SAR Mission (4).jpg

Red Lodge Search and Rescue is open to anyone in Carbon County and membership is not limited to persons with emergency response backgrounds. A basic fitness level, the ability to perform both in and out of doors, a positive attitude, a willingness to adapt and be a team player, a commitment to safety, and professionalism is a must for this division. A limited number of SAR applications are accepted each year.

Training and Benefits

SAR volunteers have a passion for and extensive experience in the outdoors and are driven to serve the community. SAR calls rarely happen at convenient times or in good weather. Typically, responders have very flexible schedules and are able to come to calls at all times of the day and year.  Our average volunteer fulfills over 40 hours of training and responds to at least 5 calls annually. Meetings and training are held on the first Wednesday, third weekend and fourth Thursday of the month so having this time available in your schedule is important.  Fitness is imperative to the job and members make physical and mental health and activity a priority.

All new SAR members take part in a 6 month Recruit Training during which they learn the basics needed to respond to SAR calls. The academy begins in early January and typically ends by mid-June. SAR members must take a physical agility test annually – usually in the spring and maintain certification in CPR and Wilderness First Aid. Training is an ongoing process, and our team meets at least twice a month to prepare.

Members of SAR are not compensated monetarily for their time, all of our members are eligible for our incentives program and as a member, you and your family have access to the camaraderie of a great group of people, our gym, pre-training meals, Peer Support, and more.

Being “On Call”

Red Lodge SAR members are not expected to be “on call”, however, we do ask that you respond to pages if you are available. Calls can last anywhere from minutes to days and we understand that not all members can respond to all missions for the duration. All help is appreciated! You will also have the opportunity to sign up for events, do work around the station and in the community.


Fiscal Year 22-23

SAR Calls by Type
SAR Calls by Day
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