Frequently Asked Questions About
The Organization and How You Can Support Us

About the Organization:

Q: What area does RMRU cover?
A: There are no set boundaries for each search and rescue organization within the county. Generally RMRU coordinates missions in the mountainous areas of the county. Very often, missions involve several groups working in desert, mountain, and urban environments. RMRU also responds to mission outside Riverside County.

Q: Are RMRU members a part of the Riverside Sheriff's Department?
A: Yes we are. We are not Reserve Deputies nor do we wear a Deputy Sheriff's uniform. However, we are all volunteers for the Sheriff's Department and must pass a background investigation before joining. The team must also get permission from the Sheriff's Department before starting any search and rescue operation.

Q: Who provides air support for RMRU?
A:The Riverside Sheriff's Department is responsible for providing air support during search and rescue operations. Often times, they use their own helicopters. Sometimes, helicopters are requested from neighboring counties or military bases. Other times, the Sheriff's Department contracts private companies such as Landells Aviation or Western Helicopters.

Q: Why is RMRU a separate non-profit corporation instead of Reserve Deputies for the Sheriff's Department?
A: This was a decision made by the founding members of RMRU and is supported by the Sheriff's department. It provides a good working relationship between RMRU and the Sheriff's Department. One important reason for this arrangement is that reserve deputies often receive some basic law enforcement training, of which, our team members have very little interest in.

Q: Does RMRU have search dogs, mounted posse, underwater team, or swiftwater rescue?
A: No. There are seperate organizations within the county to handle these tasks.

Q: What is the MRA?
A: The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) is an organization that was formed in 1958 to develop and standardize mountain search and rescue procedures.

Q: What is NASAR?
A: The National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) is an organization that was formed in 1969 to develop and standardize search and rescue procedures.

Q: What is the difference between the MRA and NASAR?
A: The MRA and NASAR are very similar in purpose and functionality. The MRA tends to focus on search and rescue operations in mountainous environments, while NASAR is designed for broader range of search and rescue needs. Another difference is the MRA certifies the SAR team and then each SAR team certifies it's own members, while NASAR certifies the individuals, not the teams.

Q: Where can I find RMRU's Standard Operating Procedures, Training Manuals, By-laws, etc. online?
A: The following information is NOT available for online viewing:

Standard Operating Procedures, Training Manuals, By-laws, Members personal information (phone, address, e-mail, etc.). If you have a genuine need for this information, please contact us.

Support for the RMRU:

Q: Does RMRU charge for it's services?
A: RMRU does not charge one dime to those who require our services.

Q: How can I support the search and rescue efforts of RMRU?
A: Become a sustaining member by providing a tax-deductible donation.

Q: Where does RMRU receive funds for search and rescue operations?
A: Much of RMRU's operations are funded by private donations. The Riverside Sheriff's Department provides financial support in various ways such a gasoline for vehicles and air support. The Sheriff's department has also provided us with rescue vehicles including the recent acquisition of Van #1.

Q: Is my donation tax-deductible and what is RMRU's tax-deduction code?
A: Yes, a donation to RMRU, which is a non-profit corporation, is tax-deductible. The tax-deduction code will be sent to you in a letter confirming that we received your donation.