Kern Valley Search & Rescue: Unsung Heroes

By Julie Giyer
Kern Valley Sun

Photos by: Ruthann Smith

Search and rescue (SAR) is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.

Founded in 1955, The Kern Valley Search and Rescue team puts in thousands of hours every year to train and be ready for when crisis emerges. They take pride in their capabilities in off-road, swift water, and wilderness search and rescue. This organization is composed of local citizens, business owners, and local professionals who donate their time and their own money to make sure this valley has a qualified and professional Search and Rescue team. They cover a vast area of terrain in Kern County including many miles of the Kern River, Lake Isabella, Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and the edges of the Mojave Desert. There are currently 35 members of the KVSAR team. There are two categories of water classification that determine the amount of rescues per year: High-water and Low-water. During a High-water part of the year there are about a hundred rescues. Typically, June and July are months where SAR is out patrolling every day. During a Low-water year, there are about 40 rescues a year, consisting of 2-3 rescues a month.