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Search and Rescue

Kitsap County Search and Rescue Council consists of many Search and Rescue organizations that respond to emergencies in Kitsap County.  The teams are activated by the Department of Emergency Management or the Sheriffs' department.  All of the units are comprised of volunteers and welcome new members or donations.

Typical SAR Missions include searching for:

  • Missing children, disabled persons, or the elderly in suburban and rural locations.
  • Searching for hikers, hunters, and other missing persons in forestlands.
  • Assisting persons who are injured in forest areas not accessible by road.
  • Searching for missing aircraft and locating radio distress beacons used by aircraft and boats.
  • Searching for evidence of major crimes in outdoor settings.
  • Recovering victims of drowning and other marine emergencies.
  • Assisting with floods and other disasters.

Washington Explorer Search and Rescue, Kitsap Unit- ESAR 
Provides adult and teenage personnel to conduct search, rescue, recovery and evacuation operations statewide.  The primary focus is on general ground search techniques and building leadership skills of youth ages 14-21. They are the most active unit for searches within Kitsap County. The ESAR training program is recognized as beneficial for both teens and adults.  The Kitsap Unit was formed in 1978.

Kitsap County Search Dogs - KCSD
KCSD is a division of WESAR Kitsap Unit.  It provides scent discriminating (trained to search for a specific person) and air scent dog teams to conduct search and rescue operations statewide.  Since it is part of WESAR, the group includes youth dog handlers.  The handlers are required to meet all of the standards of WESAR. 

Olympic Mountain Rescue - OMR 
This organization focuses on rescue activities in mountainous terrain and the education of the public in backcountry safety. Although they are based in Bremerton, Washington; they are most active in the Olympic National Park. It is not uncommon for the OMR members to also lend assistance in other areas of the state. 

German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington-GSSD 
This is an organization of persons who train themselves and their dogs for detecting human scent in wilderness settings. Although originally founded for German Shepherd dogs, the membership now includes a variety of breeds. The primary county for unit registration is Pierce County, however their members reside and participate in many counties throughout western Washington (including Kitsap County). They are perhaps one of the most active SAR organizations in the state.

Peninsula Mounted Search and Rescue- PMSAR 
This organization is based in neighboring Pierce County. However, their members also provide assistance to Kitsap County. Their primary function is to assist in searches of forestlands using privately-owned horses.

Northwest Bloodhounds- NWBH
The bloodhound organization is also based in Pierce County. The members assist in Kitsap County when there is a need to track a missing person's scent trail using specially trained dogs.

Underwater Search and Rescue Volunteers of Kitsap County- USRV 
USRV is an organization of volunteer scuba divers trained to perform underwater search and recovery missions. Like all of the volunteer organizations, their members supply most all of their own equipment. If you have any old dive gear, radios or boats which you would like to donate, please contact us at 253-851-4574.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please click on the application listed on the side under PDF Document. When completed, you may fax or mail the application to:

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please click on the application below. When completed, you may fax or mail the application to:

Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management
911 Carver Street, Bremerton, WA 98312
Fax: 360-478-9802
Attn: Volunteer Application

PDF Documents
KCDEM Volunteer Application