We Are Moving!

Keep up to speed with our project planning and status updates below! This spot will be updated with information, photos and documents as we progress through the project of moving SAR to a new location.

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New Building Community Letter

Dear Community Member,

Search and Rescue has been a part of Whatcom County since 1955. In true Search and Rescue fashion, the early cohort consisted of a group friends with 4-wheeled drive vehicles and wilderness know-how who would assist the Sheriff’s Office when asked. In 1970 Whatcom County Search and Rescue (WCSAR) was formalized, and in 1987 it was established as a 501c3. Six distinct units currently operate under the WCSAR Council – Summit to Sound (STS), 4×4 Unit, Whatcom Emergency Communication Group (WECG), Mountain Rescue, Snowmobile Team and Dive Team.

WCSAR is a resource utilized by the Sheriff’s Office, as well as other local emergency service agencies. All volunteers with WCSAR must complete a background check, as well as meet minimum core-competency requirements set by the Search and Rescue Volunteer Advisory Council (SARVAC) and endorsed by the State Department of Emergency Management. In addition to meeting the minimum training requirements, individual units have their own training and fitness criteria to ensure that all responders are ready and able to safely respond when called. Volunteers are not paid for their services, and are responsible for purchasing their own equipment and supplies, as well as pay for the cost to respond.

Common duties of WCSAR include traditional search in wilderness and urban environments, wilderness body recovery, wilderness first aid and pack-out of injured hikers and hunters, urban searches for lost children or dementia patients, evidence search, and scene safety. In addition to the traditional search, rescue and recovery activities, WCSAR has played a key role in past years during events that include flood rescue, delivery of PPE and food during the pandemic shutdown, severe weather transportation assistance for critical emergency and hospital staff as well as patients needing
life sustaining treatment, and condition monitoring and situation reports during extreme weather events.

Earlier this year, the WCSAR Council was informed that our current building will be torn down to make room for a new County Planning and Public Works facility. WCSAR has an estimated building cost of $1.9 million. This estimate includes land acquisition, permitting, engineering, building design and construction. To date we have raised over $750,000.00. It is our hope that YOU will help us in our fundraising efforts to build a new WCSAR facility in Everson, and ensure that we can continue to serve our community in years to come. Donations can be made at our website: www.wcsar.org.
Checks written to the WCSAR Council can be mailed to the address below. Please note “building fund” in the memo line.


Whatcom County Search and Rescue Council
Andy Sayler
Council Chair


August 2023 Update

August 2, 2023 Building Committee Report 1.  The City of Everson approved the Preliminary Plat and Conditional Use Permit Application for our new building site.  Site grading and prep for utilities will begin in August.  2.  Rich Seimer (BMRC) is helping to get the rough building plans in draft form.  Once he’s done, they will … Read more

July 2023 Update

July 5, 2023 Building Committee Report 1.  In order to stay on schedule for a May 1, 2024 move-in date we need to put down a deposit of $200k by the end of August.  Committee does not feel comfortable doing this until we have the entire building shell cost ($500k) secured.  We are exploring temporary … Read more

History of SAR in Whatcom County

Click to read the PDF document.


Welcome to the first post of the New Building page. This spot will be updated with information, photos and documents as we progress through the project of moving SAR to a new location.

Stay Tuned for Updates