Matt Scharper, Deputy Chief
State Search and Rescue Coordinator
Office Phone: (559) 445-5674 or (916) 845-8911
Steve Brooks, SAR Assistant
State Search and Rescue Program
Office Phone: (916) 845-8706
For Information regarding the Direction and Control of the Search Function Course and Winter Operations Course, please visit our Training Page.
Search and Rescue
The Law Enforcement Division is charged with the responsibility of coordinating state mutual aid for search and rescue in California. In addition, it receives and coordinates interstate requests under the auspices of the National Search and Rescue Plan. The division also coordinates all local requests for state and Federal agency assistance. Because search and rescue missions are often life threatening, requests for out-of-county, state or Federal resources can be made directly to Cal EMA.
Search and Rescue - Related Products
The Search and Rescue Annex to the Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Plan is a document that explains in detail, the mutual aid plan for search and rescue in California; state and federal organizations involved in search and rescue, their roles and capabilities, and the process for obtaining assistance.; and detailed mutual aid guidelines for various disciplines within search and rescue. These “Mutual Aid Guidelines” are published separately to assist local government agencies in planning and preparation for search and rescue operations. The division also offers P.O.S.T. certified classes for those persons responsible for search and rescue management: “Direction and Control of the Search Function – Search Management Course” & “Direction and Control of the Winter Search Function – Search Management Course” have been offered to law enforcement agencies’ Search and Rescue Incident Commanders for more than 20 years. More than 2,500 students have completed this 40 hour supervisory course which provides valuable information on the management of wilderness search operations.
Wilderness SAR Role
Search and rescue missions are not confined to jurisdictional boundaries and are often life threatening; thus, the Law Enforcement Division coordinates mutual aid for search and rescue operations in California. To elevate the capabilities of local jurisdictions in managing search and rescue missions, the Law Enforcement Division conducts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) approved courses on managing search and rescue operations. More information is available in the Law Division's Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Plan SAR Annex.