The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit is a group of volunteers trained and ready to respond to wilderness emergencies. At any hour of the day, law enforcement agencies, national park and military officials may call upon the Unit to aid an unfortunate victim. The unit is on constant alert, via text messages, to search for and effect the rescue of hikers, skiers, rock climbers and outdoorsmen whenever and wherever tragedy strikes. The unit performs about 95% of it’s missions in Riverside County. However, it has traveled south into Mexico, north into the High Sierras and into Nevada to accomplish it’s lifesaving missions.
The unit is currently comprised of over 30 volunteers, who literally come from all walks of life. They regularly leave their jobs (or in the middle of the night, their warm beds) to respond to a call for help. They also do not receive remuneration for time given to search and rescue. The members make up a small, but spirited, group of mountaineers who spend one weekend each month training to sharpen their rescue skills. Each member must provide all of thier own equipment at a cost of more than $2,500. Beside acting as a highly competent rescue workers, members also work closely with school, clubs, church groups, and Scout troops throughout the area to teach mountain safety. The ounce of prevention may well prevent the untimely pound of cure.
The first Rescue Van and first 6 members
Current team members
In September of 1961 six men formed the 100% volunteer Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit. In a very short time the unit was tested and approved for membership in the national Mountain Rescue Association. Then in January of 1964 the unit was incorporated and granted non-profit status by the state and federal governments.
The Unit began very modestly, it owned nothing! Through the hard work of founding members, their wives and friends, equipment was slowly purchased. The Unit was given a used panel truck and the members worked many long hours preparing it for search and rescue.
That first year saw a total of seven mission and a working budget of less than $200. The Unit now averages better than 40 mission a year and needs $1,250 per month to run its growing operations.
The Unit can modestly boast of saving over 1,000 lives since its inception in 1961.
This lifesaving work is made possible by RMRU’s Sustaining Members and the money they contribute each year. What is a life worth. The Unit believes that no expense should be spared to save the life of an unfortunate victim and in many cases it takes costly and precisely made: litters, first aid gear, climbing ropes, hardware, radio equipment and rescue vans to make a successful rescue out of a potential tragedy.