In 2020, SAR volunteers went on 115 calls, including 41 searches, 69 rescues, and 5 mutual-aid calls. One hundred and fifty-two volunteers dropped what they were doing to go help someone 1433 times and spent over 8,599 hours on calls and training.
The Sheriff's Office is responsible for all search and rescue missions in the county. Trained Deputies act as incident commanders in support of highly skilled volunteer groups.
You can get involved with SAR through membership in one of our volunteer groups. If you live in the Gallatin Valley, we encourage most people to start by joining the Sheriff’s Posse. (See details for other groups, including Big Sky and West Yellowstone, below.) If you want to be part of Search and Rescue but don’t have the skills or can’t commit to making calls at all hours, Friends of GCSAR might be a good fit.
The Posse takes on new members twice yearly. Becoming a full member is, at minimum, a one-year process. During that time, you'll be expected to attend all Posse meetings and trainings, which occur roughly twice a month. Operational members are expected to respond to at least 50% of all callouts. It's important to recognize that search and rescue is a major time commitment for everyone involved: members typically devote 15-20+ hours each month.
If you think you'd be a good addition to the Posse, please fill out the following questionnaire to be added to our applicant mailing list. Once you are on the list, we will keep you updated with upcoming recruitment events. For other groups, contact the person listed below.
- West Yellowstone – Contact Brock Kelly, 406-640-1361
- Big Sky – Contact Mark Bradford, 406-539-6981
- Posse: foundational SAR team that provides support for all operations. Most members of other teams are part of this group. Includes swiftwater rescue. Fill out questionnaire
- Alpine Hasty: rapid response and technical rescue in mountain terrain. Contact Jason Riviski 406-580-9473.
- Divers: underwater search and recovery. Contact Kavin Kelly, 406-579-8375.
- Hams: communications, mapping, logistics, and drones. Contact Curtis DeVault, 406-853-1500.
- Dogs: four-season wilderness SAR K9s. Contact Ladean McKittrick, 406-388-7070.
- Friends of GCSAR: Fundraising, education, and operations support for rescuers. Contact Kathi Gregoire, 406-581-6461.
Another option is to volunteer to be found by the search dogs; this is a time commitment of a half or full day when it works for you. For more information and to sign up, see https://www.westernmontanasearchdogs.org/training-volunteers.
Thank you again for your interest. For any further questions, please contact Captain Scott Secor at 406-582-2100 or by email at email@example.com.