In case of emergency, call 911—ask the County Sheriff to dispatch TRSAR.


Helo Team


The Tonto Rim Search & Rescue Helicopter (Helo) Team works alongside Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide aerial support and assistance in locating and rescuing individuals across diverse terrain. With specialized training, state-of-the-art equipment, and a commitment to safety, we conduct missions ranging from remote wilderness rescues to urban search and rescue operations.  

Overview of what we do and the skills required to be part of our team.

What We Do:

  • TRSAR members work in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) to ensure synchronized efforts in search and rescue missions. Within the TRSAR Helo Team, rescue specialists undergo rigorous training tailored to meet the standards set forth by DPS, ensuring effectiveness and proficiency in executing operations.
  • TRSAR rescue specialists possess the skill to execute advanced rappelling maneuvers, allowing them to access and operate in challenging, remote terrains that would otherwise be inaccessible. Leveraging state-of-the-art helo rescue equipment, they are able to navigate through rugged landscapes to assist in the extraction of individuals.
  • Rescue specialists undergo comprehensive training in a range of specialized operations, including short haul operations, hover ingress and egress techniques and utilizing one skid insert maneuvers.
  • Rescue specialists play a pivotal role in supporting the DPS helo team by providing crucial assistance in various facets of the rescue operation. This includes facilitating communication between team members, utilizing advanced techniques to pinpoint the location of victims, and offering aid to DPS medics who are airlifted to the scene. Additionally, they assist in stabilizing and preparing victims for hoist extraction, ensuring the swift and safe evacuation of individuals.


Members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue (TRSAR) team who serve as rescue specialists on the helicopter rescue team play critical roles in executing successful rescue missions.

Skills Needed:

  • Rope Rescue Techniques: Proficiency in rope rescue techniques is essential for rescue specialists involved in aerial rescue operations. They need to assist in securing and rigging rescue equipment and ensuring safety during operations.
  • Communication: Clear and effective communication is crucial for coordinating rescue efforts between the helicopter crew, ground personnel, and other agencies involved in the operation. Rescue specialists must be adept at using communication equipment and providing accurate information to team members.
  • Aircraft Safety and Emergency Procedures: TRSAR rescue specialists are trained to work safely within and around aircraft.  
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Effective teamwork is essential for the success of helicopter rescue missions. Through clear communication and a shared commitment to the mission, our team fosters an environment where every member’s skills and expertise complement one another.


To Learn More:

Please consider attending a TRSAR General Meeting held the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Payson Library.