Search and Rescue Officers
A group of seven Metro police officers serve as the command and training structure of the unit. They are selected from the rank and file of the Metropolitan Police Department and are all experienced law enforcement officers. In conjunction with the air support unit or independently, these officers perform as a fully functional rescue team. When more manpower is needed, the officers call for the search and rescue volunteers.
Mountain Rescue Volunteers
In addition to the search and rescue officers, about 30 volunteers make up the bulk of the mountain rescue team. These highly dedicated volunteers are selected from the community based on their expertise and special talents. Mountain rescue volunteers sustain regular jobs in the community and most maintain skills outside of the unit as mountaineers, rock climbers, cavers, scuba divers, firefighters, paramedics, and nurses.
The unit’s support teams consist of an all volunteer, dive team, logistics team, and tactical medical team. They function independently or in conjunction with the Metro SAR officers and mountain rescue volunteers. They provide additional skills, experience, and manpower that supplement the volunteer mountain rescue team. Each support team is directed by one search and rescue officer to provide training and maintain their effective readiness.
To complete the unit, four rescue pilots with the LVMPD Air Support Section fly several types of helicopters to support search and rescue operations. In addition to patrolling the skies over Las vegas, they have specialized training to perform a variety of helicopter rescue operations. They are trained for operations involving night flying, short-haul, fast rope, sling loads, and skid down hovers.
Photography by Case Tomczyk