Volunteer Mounted Search and Rescue Unit

To qualify as a member of the San Benito County Sheriff’s Volunteer Search & Rescue Unit the following minimum standards will be required to be considered. In the event you do not meet the minimum requirements, your application will not be considered as a Search & Rescue Unit Volunteer.



The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Search & Rescue Unit is formed for the purpose of assisting the Sheriff in search and rescue and to promote goodwill among the residents of the county and elsewhere. The unit may be called upon to assist in the location of lost children or hikers, to provide support at other missions at the direction of the Sheriff or his designee, and to provide assistance during times of disaster. We are grateful for your interest in serving our Community and the County of San Benito. This is a not for profit organization.

Search & Rescue Unit Volunteer Minimum Standards

Examples of Duties:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America
  • Be twenty-one (21) years of age.
  • Be of good character and reputation (as determined by passing the Sheriff’s Office background investigation).
  • Have a valid California driver’s license and proof of liability insurance.
  • Have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent.
  • Pay annual dues of $50.00, renewed each year by June 30.
  • Attain certification for self and equine, saddle and tack, and transportation for said animal.
  • Properly register as a Disaster Service Worker, (DSW) under the provisions of the Emergency Services Act
  • Attend search and rescue related training.
  • Conform to the policies and procedures of the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Horsemanship skills that meet MSAR qualifying guidelines.
  • Good health and physical condition.
  • Willing to work under the Incident Command System (ICS) guidelines.
  • Willing to complete and maintain CPR & First aid certification as well as become proficient in compass, map and GPS use.
  • Attend classes on search procedure and orienteering when offered; attend mock field search and rescue exercises when offered.
  • Reasonable time availability, which includes attending at least 50% of all scheduled squad activities and at least 50% of all scheduled team activities.
  • Ability to take direction and deal with stressful, difficult, and demanding situations.
  • Carry required equipment on all team and squad rides.
  • Represent MSAR as well as the Sheriff’s Office in a proper and professional manner at all times.
  • Bring any suggestions and/or complaints to squad leaders and follow chain of command.
  • Email capabilities highly recommended

To participate in the Search and Rescue Unit, all horses must meet the following requirements:

  • No horses under four (4) years of age; no stallions of any age.
  • Must trailer load and tie (or hobble).
  • Must be manageable going alone.
  • Must safely negotiate water, bridges and other obstacles.
  • Must get along with other horses.
  • Must be in good physical condition; adequate foot protection as required.
  • Permanent brand inspection recommended

Additional conditions (please note this list of conditions is not limited to the following)
All members shall be required to purchase and outfit themselves at their own expense with uniforms and equipment to conform to that currently being used by the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit.

Required Equipment

  • Access to a towing vehicle and horse trailer (4 wheel drive recommended).
  • First aid kit.
  • Rain slicker, compass, flashlight, knife, matches, whistle, & water.
  • GPS highly recommended.
  • Basic survival gear for all weather or overnight.
  • Helmets highly recommended.
  • Halter & lead ropes.
  • Saddlebags or cantle bag of ample size.
  • Suitable tack.
  • Adequate water, feed, blankets for horses for extended search.

All applicants for membership must complete and sign the application and information release authorization. The completed application shall be forwarded to the Unit Coordinator, who shall review and forward the application to the Sheriff’s Office
Backgrounds unit.

This volunteer position shall be governed through the Sheriff’s Office. Applications for membership shall be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office. Members work “at will” and can be dismissed at anytime by the Sheriff. Other requirements will be provided to you prior to selection and acceptance of this Volunteer position.

San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, 2301 Technology Parkway, Hollister, CA 95023


For more information about this position, please feel to contact the Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue Coordinator at etaylor@sbcsheriff.org

All completed application documents will be reviewed. Applications are screened on the basis of overall qualifications. If a large number of qualified applications are received, the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate further in the selection process. These qualified applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. This process may include further testing including but not limited to oral appraisal, medical examination, fingerprints/background investigation, psychological/psychiatric evaluation.

The County of San Benito actively seeks minority, female, and disabled applicants and is committed to a policy that pursues Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination. Each applicant will be considered on the basis of job-related qualifications regardless of race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual preference, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parenthood, political affiliation or belief, physical or mental handicap.