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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.

 

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