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Search management - missing child search

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Patient packaging for extraction

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Extraction in extremely difficult terrain

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Helo operations

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Technical rescue systems components training

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All-volunteer non-profit search & rescue team based in the San Francisco Bay Area who looks for and helps people that are missing in CA.

BAMRU looks for and helps missing and injured members of our community of all ages, whoever and wherever they may be, including in urban, suburban and wilderness environments.

BAMRU members donate their time to the community for emergency operations and related training. Their greatest joy is a successful operation.

"The moment you give a child back to her mother, who never knew if she would see that child again, really makes the early morning trainings, the long slogs thru mud and rain, all worth it." BAMRU on NPR:

More info on BAMRU activities is at

Because donations are a necessity to help BAMRU function effectively, we are asking you, a member of the community we serve, to consider making a donation of any amount in support of the work we do.

One of our greatest and immediate needs is to replace our aged rescue truck. After 15 years and nearly 220,000 miles, it has reached the end of it’s effective service with our team. This truck is our mobile cache on which we rely to carry all of our ropes, rigging, and medical gear to and from search assignments up, down, and across the state in every condition. A functioning truck directly affects our ability to carry out our mission. We have estimated the cost of a new truck as approximately $75,000. We are happy to provide more details regarding our truck needs if you would like.

No payment is expected for our services. Substantially all of our expenditures go directly to fund searches, trainings, and support supplies and equipment. We have no paid employees, consultants, contractors or agents - all of our members are volunteers who donate their own personal time, personal gear, and personal contributions.

In 2013 alone, BAMRU members have volunteered over 17,000 hours in 15 operations, 25 community events, and over 50 trainings. Recent searches have included missing persons of all ages in counties of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Marin, Mendocino and Lake. Notable BAMRU community service over the past year include the search for and rescue of Gene Penaflor of San Francisco, 71, a missing person who was later found alive in the outdoors after being lost and injured for eighteen days, the search for missing Mikaela Lynch, an autistic nine-year-old, and our on-call standing-by to assist with rescue operations at San Francisco International Airport following the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash on July 6th.

BAMRU has also supported our community in other many other ways, responding in operations including evidence searches and Storm Watch, volunteering in Tactical Response to School and Community Violence training classes for law enforcement officers so we can keep our schools safe, and leading classes with school children so they learn to “Hug-a-Tree” when lost. BAMRU members have volunteered their time to assist Stanford’s Wilderness Medicine course by providing medical rescue demo stations. And 2013 marks the fifth year BAMRU has provided hands-on volunteer medical support to the Western States 100, a hundred mile trans-Sierra ultra-marathon.

BAMRU is accredited in search management, tracking, technical rock rescue, and snow and ice rescue as a member of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) and is a FEMA and California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Type I search and rescue resource. This means that we have the ability to operate safely and effectively, unsupported for 72 hours, night or day, in all terrain, in all weather, and in all seasons.

Members of BAMRU are climbers, mountaineers, backpackers and skiers who train in a variety of skills used for search and rescue. BAMRU members live all over the Bay Area, from Marin to Santa Cruz and from San Francisco to Contra Costa County.

The unit is an independent, tax-exempt public charity as described in IRS section 501(c) (3) (Federal ID 23-7098709). It is a non-profit corporation with an elected board of directors, affiliated with the San Mateo County (California) Sheriff's Emergency Services Bureau.

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Organization Information

San Mateo County Sheriff Dept Emerg Services Bureau
400 County Center, Attention Joe Sheridan Redwood City, CA 94063




All-volunteer non-profit search & rescue team based in the San Francisco Bay Area who looks for and helps people that are missing in CA.

EIN: 237098709

Reports: Guidestar


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