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Sheriff's Office - Search & Rescue Team

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team consists of full-time deputies and volunteers from local communities around Siskiyou County. SAR is a well-trained department and is divided into two teams: a Field Team and a Support Team. The Field Team members are proficient in searching for lost people, rescuing injured people, evidence searches, recovering the deceased, and assisting the county during natural disasters. The Support Team assists the Field Team by providing communications and logistical support during SAR missions.

All members are required to attend a set number of meetings, training sessions and exercises, and call-outs. In addition, each member must possess basic first aid and CPR cards, as well as maintain required basic equipment and meet physical requirements. SAR personnel are required to pass periodic skills/abilities tests and demonstrate proficiency in a variety of search and survival skills.

Siskiyou County is loaded with topographies ranging from swift-water rivers to high elevation mountains, the highest being Mt. Shasta at 14,126’. The climate offers four “real” seasons ranging from whiteout snowstorms to extremely hot summer days. Siskiyou County is a visitor’s and hiker’s paradise offering diverse terrain, seasons and environments for the outdoor enthusiast. Along with these come dangers and challenges that often result in Search and Rescue missions.

By far the most important element in the success of search and rescue is the selfless dedication that comes from our volunteer SAR team. Team members come from most all of our local communities, and serve the public without pay or compensation. These men and women take time from their jobs and family to provide an invaluable service to the public. Without them, we could not effectively do search and rescue, and the thanks for lives saved should go to them.

Things to Consider...

  • Don't drink alcohol while swimming, boating, or water skiing.
  • Always wear a life jacket while in a boat and while skiing, even if you're a good swimmer.
  • Always hike or pack in groups.
  • Stay on the trail, if there is one.
  • Carry plenty of water and make frequent stops to drink.
  • Carry adequate high-nutrition food.
  • Outdoor necessities include a compass, first aid kit, a whistle and mirror for signaling, space blanket, and a detailed map of the area.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area before you enter, and take someone with you who knows the area.
  • Always be specific with friends or relatives about your planned route and stick to it. IF YOU GET LOST. . . stay put! Especially at night. Stationary people are much easier to find.
  • Don't attempt more than you can physically handle. Mt. Shasta is more rugged and difficult a climb than most people realize.
  • Before attempting snow field climbing, get adequate training in the use of crampons and snowshoes.
  • NEVER climb Mt. Shasta alone. . . and NEVER abandon your climbing partner.
  • Always register your climb with the appropriate agency or friends/relatives. And again be specific with your plans and route.
  • Tell somebody where and how you plan to climb, and what day and time or your return.
  • It takes only a moment to sign the Trailhead register, but that information may save your life.
  • Prior to engaging the mountains, check the weather forecast and pay heed. Temperatures can drop several tens of degrees in a short period of time. . . even in late Summer.
  • Be specific about your hunt area and boundaries. Tell somebody where you are going and how long you will be gone.
  • Prearrange with friends or relatives what time and day you plan to return.
  • Wear the approved clothing. . . bright orange or colors which can easily be seen.
  • Carry the same supplies and gear for hikers (above).
  • Hunting in rugged terrain is strenuous work. Know your physical limits.

These common errors lead to serious consequences... These are based on actual rescue missions.   Please take NOTE:

  • Climbing Mt. Shasta alone. I couldn't find anyone to go, and I was only going to go a short ways.
  • Climbing or traversing ice fields alone or with a partner who has little or no ice axe arrest skills.
  • Leaving your partner behind to "wait" for you. Usually because they can't continue for whatever reason. If your partner "can't make it". . . return with them to base camp.
  • Not wearing a life jacket. Most drowning victims are "good swimmers", and they were going to be in the water for only a "minute or so" (crossing a river or lake).
  • Leaving your equipment or summit pack behind (including medications) because it was heavy, you didn't think you would need it, and you were just a little ways from the top.
  • Novices climbing too difficult a route, thinking it didn't look that hard, but pushed onward beyond their physical ability to the point of no return.
  • "Desk job" workers trying to hunt too far in too rugged terrain without first building up their physical stamina and condition.
  • Getting disoriented in a white out blowing blizzard snowstorm. It came up so suddenly and you end up a "ridge or two" away from your believed location. You didn't think the weather would change that fast. After all, it was 70 degrees in town!! .
  • A VFR (visual flight regulations) pilot trying to just "make it" to the next landing field through a summer squall and thunder storm. Better a day late!!
  • Climbing UP a steep rock surface is a lot easier than trying to climb back DOWN without proper equipment. Think!!
  • While hiking around the lake, you couldn't have been more than a few hundred yards from the child. . .and you told them not to go near the water. It happened so fast.
  • A snowboarder looking for that thrill of all thrills...back country deep powder...ends up head over heels. Literally. The only thing visible is the bottom of the board.

Sheriff's Resource Center

Resource Title Downloadable File Type
Rural Crime & Animal Cruelty Task Force - Creation Download File Other
Sheriff Lopey's Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech - March 30, 2014 Download File Other
Instructions For Service of Process - Posted 08/13/2014 1:23PM Download File Other
Sheriff Lopey Project Paper - Colorado's Decriminalization of Marijuana: A Forecast for Justice System Administrators Download File Other
Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado the Impact: Youth & Adult Usage - January 2016 Download File Other
Response to Denver Post Article Re Marijuana and Colorado Youth Download File Other