The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s (LVMPD) Search and Rescue team consists of approximately seventy civilian volunteers. These men and women dedicate hundreds of ours each year to the community. The organization is broken into five groups who perform various functions for LVMPD.
The Mountain Rescue team performs High Angle Technical Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue, and searches. The thirty members of this team spend over one hundred and fifty hours training each year. The team responds to more than eighty rescues each year and save numerous lives. The team is responsible for rescues within the eight thousand square mile boundary of Clark County.
The Bloodhound team performs searches for lost or injured persons. This team of eight handlers and their dogs train a minimum of twelve hours each week. The team is on call to assist not only the Search and Rescue section, but also to assist other sections of the Police department. Most notably was the teams search for a missing seven-year-old girl, Karla Rodriguez.
The Logistics team is responsible for the upkeep and operation of the sections vehicles. They operate the sections mobile Command Post and provide food and water for searchers during a mission. Each member of this team donates four hours per month to maintain the vehicles and equipment.
The Dive team is responsible to provide assistance to the Search and Rescue section in Lake Mead as well as any other man-made water surface in Clark County. This team trains eight hours a month and has a total of twelve members. The team performs body recoveries as well as evidence collection.
The team not normally recognized as part of Search and Rescue is the Tactical Physicians. These nine men and women volunteer their time and expertise to provide immediate medical attention to SWAT Officers, citizens, and suspects. These physicians train as a team four hours per month. They are deployed at almost every SWAT mission and were requested on more than forty occasions in 2001.
Search and Rescue as we know it would not exist without the volunteers. The financial needs alone would make this team cost prohibitive for Clark County or the Police Department to operate. These men and women give of themselves and provide a much needed service to the community. At a moments notice they leave their families and their jobs to respond to Search and Rescue or S W AT missions. They risk their lives to make the community a safer place and provide comfort to members of the community who become lost or injured.