Eugene Mountain Rescue is a volunteer organization based in Eugene, Oregon. We formed in 1968 to provide Lane County with trained volunteer rescuers for emergencies in mountainous areas, steep terrain, or backcountry areas requiring mountaineering proficiency to work safely. Our search and rescue missions involve lost and/or injured climbers, skiers, hikers, hunters, or downed aircraft victims. EMR is a member of the Oregon Mountain Rescue Council and the national Mountain Rescue Association.

Our primary mission is to provide search and rescue personnel for situations requiring mountaineering skills on rock, glacier, snow and steep terrain in support of the Lane County Sheriff. Additionally we are a part of a larger network of volunteer groups in the county, the state of Oregon, and nationwide that provide search and rescue services. As part of this network, EMR volunteers may be called upon to assist other search and rescue groups in emergencies that may not require mountaineering or technical rescue skills. EMR is also called upon to assist mountain rescue organizations from other counties in Oregon, or in other states, if they need additional assistance.

In addition to search and rescue work, EMR volunteers work in the community to promote outdoor safety and safe mountaineering practices. We do this through community education projects and educational programs in schools.

Joining Eugene Mountain Rescue

Competitive candidates will possess a combination of general backcountry knowledge and technical skills. While we incorporate basic skills such as navigating with a map and compass, wilderness survival, and tying climbing knots into our practices, we do not actively teach these skills. We assume that you possess these basic skills prior to applying for membership. Our training program is focused on technical skills related to rope rescue systems, backcountry medicine, and search and rescue operations.

We conduct training and missions in steep, rugged, snowy, and remote terrain regardless of the weather. You need to possess skills to take care of yourself in these environments as team member safety is our top priority.

Qualified candidates must have ALL of the following skills:

  • General backcountry knowledge: Able to navigate using map/compass and GPS, own proper clothing and equipment for travel, training, and survival in inclement weather in all seasons.

  • Good fitness levels: Capable of carrying heavy loads in backcountry situations, and adequate fitness level to participate in strenuous activity, sometimes for long periods of time. Team members are expected to perform at the "arduous" level consistent with the U.S. Forest Service Wildland Firefighter Pack Test. This is a timed test of a 3-mile hike on level terrain under 45 minutes. Packs must be carried during the test and will weigh 45 pounds or one-third of your body weight, whichever is less.

  • Climbing Knots: Capable of tying basic climbing knots- the Water Knot, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik Knot, Figure 8 Follow Through, Alpine Butterfly, Münter Hitch, Bowline and Clove Hitch.

Qualified candidates are also required to have basic skills in at least one technical area below:

  • Rock climbing: Capable of climbing at least low 5th class rock.

  • Snow/glacier: Able to self-arrest, use crampons and ice axe properly, and be familiar with roped glacier travel.

  • Ice climbing: Capable of climbing WI2 or AI2. Familiar with use of ice protection methods, ice tools and crampons.

  • Rope rescue technician training: Certified Technical Rope Rescue Operations Level 1 (NFPA 1670)

Other information about joining:

  • EMR is one of several volunteer teams that serve the Lane County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) Search and Rescue program. LCSO holds recruitment meetings for Search and Rescue 101 each fall, typically in October. Candidates for EMR will be selected from the Search and Rescue 101 class held January through April each year.

  • Once you have completed SAR 101, all team members must complete 30 hours of training a year, pass an annual fitness test, and maintain First Aid/CPR certification to remain eligible for Search and Rescue missions. This ensures that all team members can safely and effectively assist during a mission.

We appreciate your interest in joining our team!