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Gila County Sheriff,
Adam Shepard


Supported only by free-will donations and fund-raisers, TRSAR has maintained a well trained and efficient volunteer group since 1964. Dedicated to saving lives and restoring health to victims in the wilderness, the Squad remains one of the finest SAR groups in Arizona.

Members must complete extensive training in such skills as Survival, Tracking, Navigation, First Aid and CPR, Rope Rescue, ATV operation and others. Each member must equip themselves with personal survival equipment, clothing and gear necessary to accomplish the mission at hand.

Under Arizona law, search and rescue groups can only respond to an emergency by authorization of the County Sheriff's Office. If you have knowledge of an emergency, contact your local law enforcement office and they will activate us when the need is determined. Please do not contact us directly, that only delays the response time by all concerned.


TRSAR was founded in 1964 by GCSO Deputy Jim Blackburn to assist him in handling the many civil rescues in the Pine-Strawberry area. At that time, one deputy took care of all of the activities in his area, and there were more calls than he could handle. The squad assisted people stuck in snow as well as those lost or injured. They were activated by any request, and did not have to wait for the Sheriffs Office to approve the mission.

In 1977, Arizona passed a law making all SAR activity the responsibility of the Sheriff of their particular county. That changed a lot of procedures and was good for the future of SAR. Workmen's compensation insurance was now implemented by the state for all volunteers during any mission and certain approved training missions. Better training and equipment became a reality, and better coordination and cooperation between counties evolved.

The headquarters and name of the group changed several times. It was called TONTO REACT for a while, and was headquartered in Star Valley and also Payson at different times. Its headquarters and squad building are currently located in Strawberry, AZ on Fossil Creek Rd.



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