Ventura County Search and Rescue East Valley Team 3 (VCSAR 3) is comprised of highly dedicated and skilled volunteers who are able to respond to wilderness emergencies in Ventura County. VCSAR 3 team members are extensively trained in search techniques, technical rope rescue, tracking, swiftwater rescue, communications, winter operations, urban search and rescue, and search management. For over 25 years, VCSAR Team 3 has participated in wilderness and urban search and rescue operations under the direction of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. The VCSAR 3 team has met the rigorous requirements of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) since 1989 and is a member of the California Region of the MRA. The VCSAR 3 team's response area includes the Ventura County portion of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Susanna Mountains. The VCSAR 3 team assists the other search and rescue teams in Ventura County: Fillmore, Upper Ojai, Dive, Canine, Posse, and Medical. The VCSAR 3 team is capable of responding outside of Ventura County and has assisted is search and rescue operations in the Sierras and throughout the State of California.



Latest News

Latest news about the team

Jan. 21, 2013: Lost Hiker - Los Padres National Forest, San Luis Obispo County

M. Alabanza communicates with operations while B. Bacheller sets up the area for a hoist operation for the subject (in camouflage). Photo by Jerry Fernholz

01/21/13, Monday 04:30 – 21:00 Hours

On Saturday, 1/19/13, a 44-year-old male went for a solo day hike out of the Ragged Point Inn along the Pacific Coast Highway in northern San Luis Obispo County. He hiked into the Silver Peak Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. When the subject did not return home on Sunday, his wife notified authorities. The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department initiated a search and requested mutual aid to get additional personnel.

Dec. 18, 2012: Lost Hiker - Santa Cruz Island

C. Buttitta taking notes while searching on Santa Cruz Island. Photo by Antonio M. Arizo

12/18/12, Tuesday 02:30 – 15:00 Hours

Oct. 27, 2012: Mutual Aid Medical Response - Isla Vista

10/27/12, Saturday 15:30 – 10/28/12, Sunday, 03:00 Hours

The Ventura County medical response team of Puhek, Emerson, McGivney (Fillmore), Arizo, Koroknay (Fillmore), Gaul, Sr. Dep. Donoghue at the end the night. Photo courtesy Antonio M. Arizo

The Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Team requested assistance with medical response during the Halloween street party in Isla Vista next to the University of Santa Barbara. It is one of the largest Halloween parties in the west. Four East Valley Team members and two Fillmore Team members responded.

October 2012 - Four Members Receive Service Awards

Four members receive their service awards from Sheriff Geoff Dean at the Ventura County Search and Rescue annual All Team training at Lake Piru.

Andy Puhek - 30 Years (on special assignment in Lake Tahoe) Photo by: Antonio M. Arizo

October 2012 - Five Complete SAR Academy

New members Fernholz, Duncklee, Cogan, Buttitta, and Boruta after receiving their badges flanked by Academy staff members Humphreys and Nirenberg. Photo by Antonio M. Arizo

The East Valley Team is proud to welcome five new members to our team: Jason Boruta, Charles Buttitta, Christopher Cogan, Kevin Duncklee, and Gerald Fernholz. The new members successfully completed the 300 hours of the SAR Academy. The Academy covers from the basic search techniques, tracking, communications, and knots to the more advance rope systems, helicopter operations, search management, swiftwater rescue, and winter operations. The academy includes a mid-term test and a 24-hour field final test.