Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 5:38 pm | Fair 59º


Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team Welcomes 8 New Members

Santa Barbara County Undersheriff Barney​ Melekian swears in the newest members of the sheriff’s Search and Rescue team.
Santa Barbara County Undersheriff Barney​ Melekian swears in the newest members of the sheriff’s Search and Rescue team. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

After a thorough application process and completion of the challenging Search and Rescue Academy, the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team has eight new members.

Undersheriff Barney​ Melekian swore in the new team members this past week and welcomed them to the Sheriff’s Department on behalf of Sheriff Bill Brown.

This is the first class to have graduated since SBCSAR began an aggressive recruitment campaign in the second quarter of 2014. The new team members have a lot to be proud of in that it’s estimated that only 10 percent of those who apply to be on the team actually make it through the application process and graduate from the academy.

The most recent academy class is made up of all walks of life, from a retired business professional to graduate students and everything in between; this is no rarity as the local team is made up of numerous professions.

The Search and Rescue Academy consisted of more than three months of intense training equaling hundreds of hours spent learning everything from rescue knots, rope rescue systems with advanced equipment, rappelling, helicopter operations, navigation, area familiarization on local trails, and SAR procedures.

The recent graduates, now trainee members, will begin months of on-the-job training responding to calls for service alongside highly experienced rescue members.

SBCSAR is an all-volunteer unit of the Sheriff’s Department that is on call 24/7 and is one of the busiest teams in California. Its members include 20 licensed emergency medical technicians. SBCSAR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and functions based on generous donations from the community and local grants.

Click here for more information about Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue. Click here for ways to support the team.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.