Cibola Search and Rescue (CSAR) is an organization whose members are all
unpaid volunteers, and which provides wilderness search and rescue (SAR)
services to the State of New Mexico. We are based in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
and we specialize in ground search techniques and litter evacuations in
wilderness situations. In addition, certain individuals have expertise in
technical rescue, Incident Command positions, canine training, and other
The team offers numerous trainings in topics related to our
specialties. These usually occur on one weekend morning per month, and
we provide SAR-related presentations prior to our monthly business
meetings. Among the various topics are Land Navigation, Search
Techniques, Litter Evacuations, Safety, and Gear/Clothing.
CSAR participates in missions statewide, but the majority of them are
in the Sandia mountains adjacent to Albuquerque. The State Police have
high-level authority for the missions, but the in-field administration
and operational units are completely staffed by unpaid volunteers.
We averaged about 40 missions in each of the years 1995/1996, and we have had
33 missions in the 1 year period between August 1998 and August 1999.
After attending three CSAR events (customarily meetings and
trainings), individuals are invited to an orientation session. This
session familiarizes them with the basics of SAR, and CSAR's policies.
They are also assigned a mentor, and receive a packet of information
for new members, a copy of our Member Guide, and a list of required
After they have acquired the prescribed gear/clothing, they are called
for missions. During their evaluation period, they are required to
team up with more experienced CSAR members while in the field.
Details on membership requirements, attendance requirements, training
requirements, team policies, etc. are found in the Member Guide.
CSAR maintains a gear cache for use in various types of SAR missions.
This includes a litter/wheel, ropes and associated gear, radios,
GPS's, and maps. Any CSAR member who deploys to a mission can use this
gear when appropriate.
In addition, each individual must acquire what they would need to
spend 24 hours in mountain conditions, most of which is detailed on
the list of required gear/clothing.
The regular business meeting is held every second Thursday of the
month at 7:15 P.M. and is usually finished by 9:00 P.M. We are not
affiliated with any religious organization, but the congregation of
St. Chad's church graciously
allows us to use their meeting room.