The U.S. SAR Task Force

The U.S. SAR Task Force Mission Statement

Dedication – Perseverance – Service   –    “Working Together, So Others May Live”

The United States Search and Rescue Task Force and the United States Search and Rescue Rangers are committed to using all of the resources at their disposal to assist in disasters and to locate and rescue lost and missing persons.  Our mission is carried out through the use of the expertise and technology at the disposal of our department of dedicated specialists, always with attention paid to the safety of all parties involved.   Further, it is our intent to educate the public and private sector and to help them in developing an understanding of what search and rescue is, how not to get lost and how to handle a disaster situation.

When a person is lost or endangered or when a disaster occurs, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.   Fortunately, there is available, a dedicated group of search and rescue and disaster response specialists – the United States Search and Rescue Task Force.

The U.S. SAR Task Force has a primary response area which consists of:  Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and The District of Columbia, however, the Task Force may respond to missions in other areas if requested.

When search and rescue, disaster response or educational expertise is sought, the U.S. SAR Task Force is ready to travel.  The Task Force is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, with a volunteer contingent of specially trained specialists.  Services include but are not limited to:

  • wilderness search and rescue

  • urban search and rescue

  • light collapsed structure search and rescue

  • cadaver search

  • evidence search

  • criminal tracking/trailing

  • animal rescue in disasters

  • critical incident stress management – this team may be placed on standby or activated for incidents in your jurisdiction, utilizing our personnel that are CISM Specialists and Psychologists

  • disaster assessment

  • Community Emergency Response Team, which may be placed on standby or activated for storms, floods, disasters, etc. in your jurisdiction, utilizing our personnel that are trained FEMA Community Emergency Response Teams and weather spotters by the National Weather Service

  • educational classes (FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), First Aid, CPR, FEMA emergency response to terrorism, defensive driving, child survival in the wilderness, search and rescue and more!)

  • educational displays at your special event

The U.S. SAR Task Force commitment to search and rescue shows clearly as the Task Force and/or our specialists are members of numerous organizations including:

  • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association

  • National Association for Search and Rescue

  • International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “CERT” Program

  • Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency “VOAD” Program

  • Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams

  • Emergency Information Infrastructure Partnership

  • American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers

  • Association of the United States Army

  • Police Chief's Association of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

  • National Association of Chiefs of Police

  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

  • International Association of Fire Chiefs

  • American Association of Trauma Specialists

The U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force and its personnel are currently one of the very few search and rescue organizations in the tri-state region requested to lecture and train the State Police, U.S. Army and other federal agencies in search and rescue, CERT and disaster response.  Combining the resources of the U.S. SAR Task Force with other organizations via mutual aid agreements, allows us to provide unsurpassed services and resources to serve other agencies, the public, and of course, the victims that we work for.

The U.S. SAR Task Force has extensive department resources include pagers, cellular telephones, Nextel systems and VHF-FM radios for immediate dispatch of department personnel, canines consisting of both air-scent and ground tracking, all terrain vehicles, global positioning systems, laptop computers, night vision, heat seeking and hearing amplification equipment, and medical teams consisting of first-aid and CPR trained personnel, first responders, emergency medical technicians, nurses and physicians as well as our renowned Critical Incident Stress Management Team with CISM specialists and licensed psychologists and, our specially trained Ranger Unit. 

When a Ranger is dispatched to your location, you can expect an expert with a minimum of 5 years of public safety service (at least 2 years in search and rescue) and a minimum of 350 hours of training in numerous related search and rescue and disaster related topics including certification in Search Management and Critical Incident Stress Management.

The United States Search and Rescue Task Force Specialists are trained not only in search skills, but also land navigation, logistics, search resource allocation and, the Task Force maintains a historical data base of lost person behaviors.

The U.S. SAR Task Force can assist with risk assessment, resource needs projections, mutual aid planning and immediate steps to be taken as standard procedures pending the arrival of the search and rescue task force.  The U.S. SAR Task Force has within our department numerous Search Managers (MSO/NSARS) who are certified as such by the State and/or the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard.  Training programs in areas such as Basic Search and Rescue Operations, Managing Search Operations, Emergency Response to Terrorism, FEMA Community Emergency Response Team and others are also offered.

To answer any questions that you may have, the United States Search and Rescue Task Force office number is 215-922-7225. You may also forward electronic mail to us at the following address on the Internet:

It should be noted that the United States Search and Rescue Task Force does not charge for emergency services to the community and, unlike the majority of search and rescue organizations, is liability insured.  

The United States Search and Rescue Task Force is a private not-for-profit agency which is a state and federally recognized rescue, disaster response and educational department comprised of dedicated volunteers, and operates similar to a volunteer rescue or fire department in-so-far as dispatch, structure and operations.

In support of our mission statement, we search for and rescue lost persons, provide disaster response and relief and educate the general public and public safety agencies on various related topics. The U.S. SAR Task Force is not a branch of the U.S. Government, but rather serves as a mutual aid organization responding directly to local, state and federal agencies requesting assistance for the specialized expertise that we provide. 

Please be aware that the sooner we respond to a lost person emergency, the better the chances to locate that person are.  And, the sooner that we locate the victim and expedite them to medical facilities, the better their chances are for survival.  In the winter weather this is even more critical and, an immediate dispatch is essential! 

For immediate dispatch of the U.S. SAR Task Force the following contact information should be utilized:

Emergency Dispatch – National SkyPage:

1-800-495-6369 (enter your call back number with area code)

When dispatched, the United States Search and Rescue Task Force responds to your request for assistance and is committed to:



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