In the United States, the majority of search and rescue teams consist of volunteers willing to give up their time and effort to help those in need. The volunteers of the LVMPD Search and Rescue Unit are no exception. All search and rescue volunteers sustain regular jobs in the community and will volunteer their time 24 hours a day without compensation.
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On average, the unit maintains about 30 mountain rescue volunteers which make up the bulk of resources on the unit. They are selected from the community based on their individual expertise and special talents that enhance the team's abilities. Most volunteers have skills in mountaineering, rock climbing, caving, and scuba diving that are gained outside the unit. Others have skills learned in their occupation as firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and doctors. However, no special skills are required to be a member other than a willingness to give up part of your time to serve the community.
Each volunteer has completed a demanding selection and training process that certifies them in the basics of mountain and rope rescue. In addition, volunteers regularly train with SAR officers to assure team cohesion and maintain a high level of skill required for the position. In addition, each mountain rescue volunteer is required to maintain a minimum certification as a Basic EMT in the State of Nevada. However, most volunteers are trained to higher levels in emergency medicine.
The mountain rescue volunteers have proved they are a valuable resource to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as well as prove that search and rescue in the community cannot be accomplished without them.