To report an emergency or request search and rescue, contact your local sheriff’s non-emergency dispatch or call 911

A volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue, and mountain safety education


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Activation Info


IMSARU is not able to deploy at the request of the public. The information below is for government agency representatives only.

To activate IMSARU, contact the Idaho State Communications Center


What to Expect When Calling

A State Comm dispatcher will ask for your name, a callback number, and a synopsis of the situation. State Comm will page IMSARU’s on-call coordinator and they will contact you by phone to coordinate a response.


We are available 24/7/365. Typical response time is drive time from Boise, Idaho plus one hour. 


All of our services are provided free of charge. We are self funded and will never bill individuals, agencies, or insurance companies.


We are self-contained with command and mapping systems. We operate under ICS structure and are capable of managing and planning a SAR incident, or acting as a support group under existing command structure. We can also assist with managing volunteers or other SAR resources.


We are typically able to provide about 15 to 30 personnel to assist with SAR incidents. This can be scaled down if fewer resources are needed.


Land based search and rescue

Search planning and mapping

Wilderness rescue and recoveries

Technical (high angle) rescue

K9 teams (live find and cadaver)

Mantracking (following footprints of missing subjects)

Shore based water searches and support for water rescue operations 

Interviewing, information gathering, and data tracking for missing person incidents

Evidence searches

Agency Representative FAQs

Our primary service area is southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon. We can often deploy farther if requested. 

Many missing person incidents are resolved easily in a short period of time, however a delay in requesting resources can have a detrimental impact on the outcome of a search and a missing subject’s survivability. 

We recommend all missing person incidents be treated as emergencies until proven otherwise, and we welcome official agencies to activate IMSARU as early as they deem appropriate. 

If an incident is unable to be resolved with basic investigation tasks in a short period of time, we recommend launching a formal search effort. That is typically the time that an established SAR team such as IMSARU can provide value.

Yes! Despite our name being “mountain” we are trained and equipped to search for missing individuals in urban environments as well.

Yes! As long as you are an official representative of a government agency, we are happy to deploy only a specific resource or assist with a specific aspect of an incident response. Even if we are unable to provide a resource we can usually point you in the right direction. Please follow the process for activating IMSARU to get started.

Yes! Our SAR Managers are trained in Lost Person Behavior, Search Theory, and Search Planning and Mapping. We also maintain contact lists of additional local and national SAR resources.  

We are happy to assist agencies with planning, mapping, coordinating resources, or just a consultation on any active search incidents within their jurisdiction.

IMSARU is happy to offer training classes to law enforcement and other first responder agencies. Common classes include Navigation, Swift Water Awareness, Winter Preparedness, Snow and Avalanche Safety, Mapping, ICS and Command Structure, Lost Person Behavior, and Search Planning. Contact us for more information.