What is SARTI?

We are a professional volunteer search and rescue group who specializes in man tracking and tracking resource management to assist local responsible agents in the search for lost or missing persons. Our members are trained and certified by the state to standards specifically created for search and rescue tracking and lost person or missing emergencies.

Where does SARTI respond?

We can respond anywhere requested. Having active members throughout the state we are unique in that we can provide trained and knowledgeable tracking resources within a very short order. As we are a volunteer organization, mission response depends upon member availability.

What does it cost me as the AHJ?

Absolutely nothing. All costs for our operations are funded by the group’s fundraising efforts and the individuals involved. For missions over twenty-four hours in length, food, water and a place to sleep are useful, but not required. We come personally equipped with food, water and shelter for 48 to 72 hours.

What about liability?

The Search and Rescue Tracking Institute has a memorandum of understanding with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). As such, the Commonwealth of Virginia provides us liability coverage for injuries and worker’s compensation to our members provided we are requested through VDEM. This is assured by the issue of a mission number given by VDEM.

How quickly can SARTI respond?

Once called by VDEM, we can have resources anywhere in Virginia in the amount of time it takes to drive to where we are requested.

Who is in charge?

We work for the agency having jurisdiction (AHJ) that calls us. We can manage the tracking resource portion of entire search mission for the AHJ or provide tracking resources or teams depending on your needs. SARTI prides itself on being able to work well with others, whether that is law enforcement, other search and rescue groups, fire/rescue or local volunteer resources.

How do I get SARTI to respond?

If you are reporting someone missing: Call 911 immediately!

If you are part of an Agency in VA: Call the VDEM Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 1-800-468-8892. Tell the communications officer that you have a search and rescue emergency. They in turn will walk you through what you need for your mission, what resources are available to you and then they will call out the resources you request. This system was created with you the AHJ in mind. If you need tracking resources you will need to request tracking resources.

What do SARTI responders need from the requesting agency?

Other than direction and input from the AHJ we are self-sufficient with regards to the actual mission. Our trained management personnel as well as qualified tracking resources including SAR Field Team Members, Field Team Leaders and Field Team Signcutting personnel are there to work for you. We carry our own personal gear, which enables us to sustain ourselves for extended periods of time in the harshest environments under all weather conditions. Many members are medically trained to handle most medical emergencies at base or in the field, not to mention when we find the subject.