Kent County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) was formed in 2004 as an extension of the Kent County Amateur Radio Civil Emergency Services (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 Search and Rescue (SAR) training organized the initial training criteria which prepared members willing to assist in SAR operations. Over the years, KCSAR has executed many searches not only Kent County, but in other parts of Michigan as well.
The group started primarily as a ground search team (affectionately known as “ground pounders”) and has expanded into several additional units:
- Communications (in partnership with KCRACES)
- Ground Units
- Management and Planning
- Specialized Support
- Marine Strike Team
KCSAR strives to execute methodical searches when looking for any type of missing person. The most common searches include:
- Alzheimer’s patients;
- Suicidal people;
- Missing children;
- Overdue hunters, skiers, hikers, and runners.
All of our members are volunteers, each of whom purchases his or her own equipment. KCSAR also does not receive government funding for operational expenses which include two command trucks which were generously donated.
KCSAR has averaged about fifty requests for service each year with about half of those requests resulting in actual searches. KCSAR is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will respond to requests. Because KCSAR works closely with Law Enforcement agencies, all requests for activation must be submitted through and by Law Enforcement agencies.