Cal-ESAR Overview

An Introduction to Cal-ESAR

California Explorer Search and Rescue (Cal-ESAR) is a wilderness search and rescue (SAR) team that responds to searches and other emergencies throughout the State of California. We operate under the direction the State of California Office of Emergency Services. Cal-ESAR is a Charter Member of the Bay Area Search & Rescue Council, and serves as a SAR and training resource throughout California. Cal-ESAR actively recruits individuals of all ages and abilities and conducts a 6-month long training program to train them to perform various SAR and other emergency services functions. 

History and Purpose

California Explorer Search & Rescue (Cal-ESAR) was originally chartered as Explorer Post 12 in 1969. While today we are a adult organization, we still support the Explorer Program of the Boy Scouts of America. The Explorer program is a co-ed program for young adults, and is designed "to promote the ability of young men and women, to do things for themselves and for others, to train them in Scout craft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues."

Each Explorer Post has an area of specialty or emphasis related to their parent organization. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Aviation
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Seamanship
  • Outdoor Adventure
  • Search & Rescue

Cal-ESAR has assisted in over 400 SAR and community service missions, and has responded from one end of the state to the other.

Some of the more publicized missions over the uni's history include:

  • The Loma Prieta Earthquake
  • Oakland Firestorm
  • Vietnam Babylift
  • Jason Rother Search
  • Yosemite Foresta Fire
  • Papal Visit Support
  • First Aid Support
  • Xiana Fairchild
  • Polly Klaas
  • Sandra Cantu
  • Nina Reiser
  • James Arthur
  • And many others...

Cal-ESAR members also teach classes for the community at large as a form of community service, and as a means of preventive search and rescue (PSAR). These classes include First Aid, CPR, Hug-A-Tree, Wilderness Navigation, Outdoor Survival, Amateur Radio Training, to name but a few.

California Explorer Search & Rescue's mission is three-fold, namely:

  1. To provide search and rescue services to the State of California and other agencies
  2. To provide service to the local community.
  3. To support the goals of Scouting

The activities we've pursued during the last 30+ years have been directed towards these objectives. We hope that if you are interested, you'll join us in our journey, and help us to write the next chapter in the history of Cal-ESAR.