California Explorer Search & Rescue (Cal-ESAR) is a volunteer search and rescue team based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Cal-ESAR responds to searches and other emergencies throughout Northern California from the Fresno area to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. Cal-ESAR is a resource of the Governor's Office of Emergency Service. We operate as a non-profit organization open to motivated adults and youth 16 and older.

On this site, you can apply to join the unit, find upcoming events, donate, learn more about the unit, and read about our training program. We couldn't do what we do without the help of our supporters.

Join Cal-ESAR

Our recruitment window is open for new volunteers! You can read more about joining here.

If you're interested in joining, fill out the form below, we'll send you an email with follow-up information and add you to our list of interested individuals. (We don't share your info with anyone for any reason, period.)

Special Note: Cal-ESAR is based in Northern California and as a practical matter if you live outside of the greater Bay / Sacramento Areas we are not the best team for you logistically. Our training program requires one overnight weekend a month (primitive camping) in the Bay Area from October through May and regular, ongoing physical presence there after.


Cal-ESAR is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that is prepared to respond 24/7/365. All team members provide their own equipment and transportation, and take vacation or unpaid time from work to perform searches and training.

We never charge the subjects of a search/rescue operation or local governments. All of our funding comes from membership dues, grants and donations from people like you or your organization.

Donations help us fund maintenance of team vehicles, rescue and communications equipment, facilities and various supplies. Donations also go towards replacing obsolete communications, rescue and medical equipment.

You can donate to Cal-ESAR using the Paypal button below, or find out about other ways to donate here.


Thanks to our supporters Sports Basement, YMCA Point Bonita, and the San Mateo Elks Lodge. Read more about them here.