LAW & PUBLIC SAFETYRescue SquadWhat We Do   

What We Do

Saving Lives in Emergency Situations

Since the Rescue Squad was founded in 1958, the total call load has been approximately 40 percent wilderness related (searches and rescues), 25 percent public safety (motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies), and 35 percent split between water and miscellaneous calls.

Wilderness Search Boat and Water Safety - Mustang Suits First Aid and Public Safety - Rappelling photo

The Rescue Squad’s missions and roles can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Wilderness Search and Rescue

  • Boat and Water Safety

  • First Aid and Public Safety

Wilderness Search and Rescue Boat and Water Safety First Aid and Public Safety

Ice rescue trainingUnderwater Recovery Operations:  The Rescue Squad’s primary activity on the water is fatality recovery, using a combination of dragging and diving techniques to recover submerged victims of swimming and boating mishaps. In recent years, underwater cameras, side-scan sonar, and cadaver dogs have been added to assist in rapidly locating victims. The Rescue Squad also searches for submerged physical evidence from crimes (weapons, vehicles, etc.), working in conjunction with sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel.

Water/Ice Rescue Operations: Although this role has been largely taken over by local first responders (due to their proximity to the incident scene), the Rescue Squad is still often the primary agency in capsizings, strandings, and medical emergencies in areas which are accessible only by boat.

Watercraft Accident Investigation: Rescue Squad personnel assist deputies in follow-up investigations of water related accidents.

Resort/Rental Boat Inspections: Every spring and summer, Rescue Squad members visit area resorts and outfitters, inspecting their rental equipment for serviceability.

Water Rescue/Recovery Instruction: As with Wilderness Search Techniques instruction, the Rescue Squad also provides classroom training to area EMS agencies on the topics of Water/Ice Rescue and Recovery.

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St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman

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