CCSAR-S is funded by donations only and is an all-volunteer organization serving the southern portion of Chaffee County.  Members have common interests to serve our community and help those lost or hurt in the backcountry. We also assist neighboring sar teams with mutual aid when requested.  We have one main fundraising event annually and rely on our membership to support the event (1st Saturday every August)

SAR reports directly to the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Department. A background check is required for all applicants. 

Membership Requirements
Members are required to participate in meetings, trainings and volunteer activities. The most important role of our members is 'Mission Readiness'. Their willingness to show up at the SAR bay and participate in a mission is critical to saving lives.  Our primary goal is simple… search and rescue. In order to be safe in the field this requires members to participate and know how to work together as a Search and Rescue unit. Membership safety is priority AND finding the lost or injured party is a priority. Only participating members need apply. 


Download a PDF of scheduled events and trainings to see if SAR fits into your schedule. Some of the dates will change slightly, but the meeting/trainings will always be on the third Monday of the month. We understand that members can't attend every meeting, training, or event. This PDF doesn't reflect missions. Example schedule

Questions about SAR membership?

email member coordinator at...

Meeting Information

Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month (except December - date TBD). We meet at the CCSAR-S building located at 10364 CR 120 in Poncha Springs. 
The training portion of the meeting begins at 7:00pm and the business meeting at 8:00.

We ask all visitors to just observe our trainings. 


New member application window is closed. We will reopen the window August 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022. Check back here for more details after the first of January 2022.  If you have additional questions about joining our team after reading this page, please email the Membership Coordinator.


Training and Certifications


All members must complete two National Incident Management Systems classes before being voted in as a member. The two classes required are IS-100.a (ICS 100) Introduction to Incident Command System and IS-700.a National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction

First Aid/CPR/AED (Minimum Certification)

This minimum certification is required before being voted in as a member.  Basic First Aid/CPR/AED certification is good for 2 years, at which time you will be required to take the class again. All certifications for members must be current.

Helicopter Lift Ticket

In order to ride in either Flight for Life or REACH helicopter for SAR purposes, you are required to attend a training class for each organization. Upon completion of the class you will be issued a Lift Ticket (for each organization) which must be presented to staff before you will be allowed to board the helicopter.  Certification must be renewed annually. Boarding a helicopter is optional but the training is essential for working safely around a helicopter.


Additional Training 

There are opportunities throughout the year for additional training. Training sessions may be offered directly by CCSAR-South or in conjunction with other agencies. 
Examples of training include: ATV/OHV, Avalanche Rescue, Low Angle Ropes, Snowmobile and Swift Water Rescue.


Personal Equipment
CCSAR-S maintains a supply of equipment for use in rescue situations; however you are responsible for supplying all of your own personal equipment. A list detailing the equipment you will be required to have on missions will be provided. This equipment should include everything you will need to keep yourself safe in the backcountry for 2 full days, including overnight.


Typical mission procedures
Upon receiving a 911 call, the Chaffee County Sheriff will make the decision to call out Search and Rescue. You will receive a text page giving the basic details of the situation. Members available report  to the SAR bay where they will be briefed with more information about the mission. It is important to arrive at the bay with all of the necessary personal equipment that you will need for the mission, including food and water, as missions typically last many hours.  Incident Command team will assess the situation and plan the mission necessary to find or rescue the lost or injured party.