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

July 28, 2012: Lost Hiker - Upper Las Virgenes Canyon

08/28/12, Saturday 20:30 - 21:15 Hours

The East Valley Team along with Ventura County Sheriff's Copter 6 responded to a lost female hiker in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve. The subject's coordinates were obtain from the initial 911 call. The copter quickly located the subject, picked her up, and returned her to her vehicle near the Victory Trailhead.

May 14, 2012: Overdue Hiker - Simi Valley

05/14/12, Monday 00:30 – 14:00 Hours

The search team of Puhek, Cogan, and Duncklee returning from the field after searching throughout the night. Photo by KCAL9 News

April 2012 - SAR Academy Mid-Term Examination

The VCSAR 3 SAR Academy held its mid-term for the five probationary members on April 28. They were evaluated on the basic search and rescue skills including knots, tracking, map and compass, four-wheel driving, rappelling, climbing, rope rescue systems, and night navigation. Sixteen active team members conducted the evaluations of the probationary members. A 166 question written examination tested the probationary member's knowledge of communications, search techniques, incident command system, and topographical maps.

Apr. 8, 2012: Missing Hiker - Tar Creek, Los Padres National Forest

04/08/12, Sunday 09:30 – 18:00 Hours

M. Fishman, M. Holwick, Sr. Dep. Donoghue, and P. Emerson escort the subject from the copter. Photo by Rob Hitchcock

On Saturday, 04/07/12, a group a hikers headed down the Tar Creek trail to the waterfalls and pools. In the early evening, a 23-year-old male became separated from the hiking group. Around 22:00 hours, the Fillmore Mountain Team was activated along with a helicopter from the Ventura County Sheriff's Dept. to begin a search of the deep canyon. The East Valley Team was called out on Easter Sunday to assist the Fillmore Team. The team members searched several miles of the creek beds in the area. Team members were also assigned to assist the Canine Team.

March 2012 - SAR Coordinator Sgt. Underlin Moving On

Sgt. Frank Underlin

The Ventura County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Coordinator, Sgt. Frank Underlin has moved on from the position in the Aviation Unit. Sgt. Underlin has been associated with the department's search and rescue unit for many years and has been very supportive of all of the volunteer search and rescue teams. He was a Swiftwater Rescue instructor and a crew chief on the rescue helicopters. The East Valley Team wishes Sgt. Underlin all the best in his future endeavors.

The team welcomes Sgt. Carl Patterson who will be the new SAR coordinator.

Photo by Antonio M. Arizo