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


Swiftwater Team


The Tonto Rim Search & Rescue (TRSAR) Swiftwater Team is committed to saving lives and ensuring the safety of individuals in and around waterways. With specialized training and equipment, we tackle the unique challenges posed by swiftwater environments to provide swift and effective rescue responses.

 As a Swiftwater Team, we utilize our expertise in swiftwater rescue techniques to locate and assist individuals in distress. We are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of safety and professionalism while responding swiftly and effectively to calls for assistance. 

Here’s an overview of what we do and the skills required to be part of our team:

What We Do:

  • Swiftwater Rescue Operations: Our team specializes in conducting swiftwater rescue operations in rivers, streams, floodwaters, and other aquatic environments. We deploy specialized techniques and equipment to safely navigate swift currents and hazardous conditions to reach and rescue individuals in distress.
  • Water-Based Search Operations: We conduct search operations in waterways to locate missing persons, submerged vehicles, or other objects of interest. Our team utilizes sonar equipment and other specialized tools to aid in search and recovery efforts.
  • Flood Response: During floods and other water-related disasters, we provide assistance in evacuations, rescues, and recovery operations. Our team is trained to operate in high-water conditions and swiftly respond to emergencies to minimize risks to human life.

Requirements & Skills Needed:

  • Swiftwater Rescue Training: Members of our team must undergo comprehensive training in swiftwater rescue techniques, including rope systems, boat operations, and in-water rescue methods. Our technicians are capable of hazard recognition, equipment use and techniques to coordinate, perform and supervise a technical rescue.
  • Swimming and Water Safety: Strong swimming abilities and a thorough understanding of water dynamics and hazards are essential for swiftwater rescue operations. Team members must be comfortable working in and around water, including swift currents and turbulent conditions.
  • Technical Rope Skills: Proficiency in technical rope systems and rigging is crucial for conducting rescues in swiftwater environments. Team members must be able to set up anchor systems, perform rope throws, and execute complex rescue maneuvers to safely extract individuals from hazardous situations.
  • Boat Handling: Experience in boat operations, including kayaks, rafts, and inflatable boats, is necessary for navigating waterways and reaching individuals in remote or inaccessible areas. Team members must be skilled in boat handling techniques and capable of operating effectively in swift currents and floodwaters.  
  • First Aid and Medical Training: Basic first aid and medical training are essential for providing immediate care to individuals in distress during rescue operations. Team members must be prepared to assess and stabilize patients until further medical assistance arrives.
  • Communication & Teamwork: Clear and effective communication skills are vital for coordinating rescue efforts within the team and communicating with other agencies and emergency responders.

To Learn More:

If you are passionate about water safety and rescue, possess the necessary skills and training, and are committed to making a difference in your community, we welcome you to join our Swiftwater Search and Rescue Team.  Please consider attending a TRSAR General Meeting held the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Payson Library.