For sixty-four years, the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team has provided aid to those who have become lost, overdue, or injured in the wilderness. Our service is possible due to our dedicated team of highly trained mountaineers and your financial and moral support. There is never a charge for our services, nor do we receive any tax dollars or other government support. All of our funding comes from the generous donations of people like you.

A typical winter search area
A typical winter search area


Technological advances have changed the face of mountain rescue and saved countless lives. Global positioning systems, emergency locator beacon receivers and high powered portable radios result in finding victims faster and coordinating rescues more efficiently, which in turn improves the chances of success for those in need. Keeping up with this technology on a day to day basis, however, requires the Team to expend financial resources on both the cutting edge electronics and maintaining them.

Basic supplies such as ropes, fuel, medical equipment, maps and other pieces of equipment must also be repaired or replaced on an ongoing basis. Without your assistance we could not continue to provide the thousands of hours of search and rescue activities each year.

The Team routinely works in remote wilderness areas, accessible only by foot or helicopter, often after dark and in bad weather. Since our founding in 1951, the Team has rendered assistance to thousands of persons throughout California, the western United States, and Mexico.  Last year alone, the Team responded to over 100 calls for assistance.   

Night rescue of an injured dog
Night rescue of an injured dog


All of the Team members are unpaid volunteers who make themselves available regardless of the time of the day, job and personal commitments, or the weather.  In a typical year the average Team member will contribute almost 1000 hours to the Team. New members typically spend over $3,000 of their own money on personal equipment when they first join the Team, and personal expenses continue as equipment is used and must be replaced.

Your contributions also allow us to provide public-awareness and wilderness-safety programs to the community, including programs especially tailored toward children.

Each member of SMSR has made a personal commitment to be there no matter when or where the need arises. But we rely on the support of the community to assure we are outfitted to be as effective as possible. Again, we receive no government funds, and we never charge for rescue. By supporting us, you can help save a life in the mountains!

Note: SMSR is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations made to the Team are tax deductible.


If you would like to mail a donation to the Team, please make your check payable to Sierra Madre Search & Rescue and mail it to:

Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team
PO Box 24
Sierra Madre, CA 91025