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Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Search and Rescue Team 1 - Fillmore

The Fillmore Mountain Search and Rescue Team is comprised of highly skilled volunteers who are available to respond to wilderness emergencies in Ventura County.

Team members specialize in:

About the Team

Ventura County Search & Rescue is an all-volunteer branch of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office covering all 1,873 square miles of Ventura County including the 43 miles of coastline. The team is trained to use specialized equipment to handle a variety of emergencies such as high-angle rock rescues, car-over-the-side accidents, swift-water rescues, and other wilderness medical emergencies. The team is also highly proficient in search operations for overdue hikers, mountain bikers, off-road motorcyclists, missing children or lost hunters.

In addition to search and rescue operations, the team also provides community education through its presentations of the "Hug-a-Tree" program for children and support of various civic and nonprofit activities. We do a lot of things that are not listed here or in the brochure as well!

Team History

In the late 1940s, local equestrians would ban together to search for fellow cowboys and farmers who were either missing or injured in the backcountry of Ventura County. The Sheriff of Ventura County approached the local group and in 1948 the "Fillmore Search and Rescue Team" was formally organized and sanctioned by the Sheriff's Office. Fillmore became the first Search and Rescue Team in the County.

The team would primarily search on horseback because of the rough terrain. In areas where vehicles were practical, the members would use their four-wheel-drive trucks. In the late 1950s, the Sheriff's Office augmented these privately owned vehicles with surplus military four-wheel-drive vehicles. On occasion, when horses could not access the victim, a helicopter would be contracted with Rotor Aids of Ventura. In the early 1970s, the Sheriff's Office formed its Air Unit and Search and Rescue began to acquire newer vehicles and equipment, supplied by the Sheriff's Office.

For more information, call (805) 9RESCUE

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