KCSAR was formed in 2004 as an extension of the Kent County Amateur Radio Civil Emergency Service (KCRACES). The KCRACES group and the Kent County Emergency Management Division saw the need for a volunteer group to assist law enforcement in searching for missing people. A few key members who had SAR training organized the initial training criteria which prepared members willing to assist in SAR operations. Over the years we have executed many searches not only in Kent County but in other parts of Michigan as well.
The group started primarily as a ground search team (“ground pounders”) and has expanded to other units including:
We strive to execute methodical searches when we look for any type of missing person which may include the following:
- Alzheimer’s patients,
- Suicidal people,
- Missing children,
- Overdue hunters, skier, runner,
- As well as many others.
All of our members are volunteers. Each member purchases their own equipment. We also do not receive government funding for our operational expenses which includes two command trucks, which have been donated.
We average about 50 requests for service each year with about half of those requests resulting in actual searches. We are available 24 hours and 365 days a year and will respond to requests. Since we work with law enforcement agencies, we will only respond to requests from law enforcement.