Wilderness Search & Rescue

Wilderness Search and Rescue patchWilderness/Land Search and Rescue teams provide support to local emergency management or emergency services agencies by assisting in the location of missing persons, lost/overdue hikers, persons with cognitive impairments who have wandered from caretakers, or any individual that is reported as a lost or injured and whereabouts are unknown.

Wilderness/ Land SAR Teams provide this assistance through these resources:

  • Search Team Members
  • Trained Wilderness SAR Members
  • Search Management
  • Human Trackers
  • K9 Teams (Tracking/Training, Air Scent, Cadaver, Water Search, and Disaster Search)
    • Tracking/Trailing – Trails by either the scent of crushed vegetation of the lost persons Footsteps or smelling the cells that have fallen from the individual
    • Air Scent – Smells human airborne cells
    • Cadaver – Human remains detection dog
    • Water Search – Human remains detection over water by smelling bodily gasses that come up from the water
    • Disaster Search – Detect humans in disaster arears or structural collapse


To receive technical assistance or request Wilderness/Land SAR resources call the NCEM Emergency Operations Center at 919-733-3300.