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

December Fundraiser

Whatcom County Search and Rescue is having a fundraiser to raise money for our new building. We are asking for donations of new or used items in good condition to be auctioned off later this year. Items that will be accepted include: Household Goods, Collectables & Antiques, Sporting Equipment, Small Appliances, Tools, Yard and Garden … Read more

History of SAR in Whatcom County

Search and Rescue operations have been a part of Whatcom County history since 1955, whenBellingham Mountain Rescue (BMRC) was established. From 1967-1970, the Whatcom 4 Wheelers, agroup of unaffiliated volunteers, were helping the Sheriff’s office with searches in Whatcom County. In 1970, Whatcom County Search and Rescue (WCSAR) was established. This early group consisted ofthe … Read more


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.

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