The NYS Federation of SAR is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit organization consisting of independent Search and Rescue teams that make themselves available to any official agency to assist in searches for lost or missing persons in New York State or the Northeast.

To contact the Federation of Search and Rescue Teams call our Toll-Free
Emergency Activation phone number: 866-6NY-WSAR (1-866-669-9727)

If you have a serious emergency, call 911
We do not search for missing or lost pets or animals


Activating the Federation


The Federation provides for a "call-out" system through which any official agency may obtain Search and Rescue resources. Activation of the Federation through your "local" team is encouraged. Using the map on the Team Directory page, click on the area nearest your locale. If a local team cannot be contacted in a timely fashion, utilize the Federation call-out procedure on the Emergency Numbers page. Notification with a local team or the Federation should be made as early in the search effort as possible. Due to geography and time, there may be a delay of several hours to obtain "non-local" support. Early notification provides for better response times. Agencies can request that resources be placed on "stand-by" or "immediate response" according to the situation. Early notification will help maximize the turnout of skilled search resources, while minimizing the response time. Any questions regarding this procedure can be directed to a Federation Officer.

How to Utilize the SAR Trained Resource Team
Notify the team closest to the incident for the quickest response. We encourage agencies to place us on "stand-by" in the early stages of a search investigation rather than an immediate (and unexpected) call-out in the later stages. Members are trained to be self-sufficient and do not require support services during the first hours of a search, but they are always appreciated especially on extended searches. Each team brings different skills (K-9, technical rescue, communications) so ensure that you are asking for the proper resources when a request is made. Again, your local team can help you to make this determination. Most teams are proficient in basic land search skills, the backbone of every search. Searches are very manpower intensive and trained, experienced SAR resources can make any search effort more effective and safe. Federation resources can be integrated into local resources as "resource enhancers", to ensure that search tasks are performed in a safe, effective, and standardized fashion.

© 2023 New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams