Our History

Founded in 1971, BAMRU is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal ID 23-7098709) with over 45 years of service to our community. As one of the first search and rescue teams in the state of California to be accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association, we hold a proud and rich history of supporting the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office with competence and professionalism. From its origins as a small group of climbers, to its current robust unit with varying outdoor skillsets, our unit is equipped to respond to missions throughout the state of California through the mutual aid system.

Our Volunteers

BAMRU members include experienced outdoor enthusiasts and medical and outdoor professionals. The diversity of our membership allows us to cross train and work safely and comfortably in challenging and austere wilderness situations. We live all over the greater Bay Area and have roots from across the country and the globe. Because of demonstrated effectiveness working across multiple organizations, BAMRU has garnered a strong reputation for cross-team collaboration and mutual aid support.

Our Credentials

BAMRU operates under the oversight of the San Mateo County’s Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Division, Emergency Services Bureau / Office of Emergency Services. As a Mountain Rescue Association accredited team, BAMRU must undergo annual reaccreditation in the following disciplines: Technical Rock Rescue, Snow and Ice Rescue, and Wilderness Search Management. We are a California Office of Emergency Services (OES) Type 1 resource and we are ready and able to help anyone on any type of terrain in California.

Where does BAMRU operate?

BAMRU is a part of the San Mateo County’s Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Division, Emergency Services Bureau / Office of Emergency Services but can be activated for operations anywhere in California. Places we train include but are not limited to the Santa Cruz mountains, Yosemite, and throughout the Sierra mountains to prepare for the variety of conditions we can encounter.

Who pays for these services?

We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal ID 23-7098709). Our members volunteer their own time and absorb personal equipment expenses for training and searches. Through the generous support from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and generous donors like you, we are able to acquire team rescue equipment. No payment is expected from those who benefit from our services although donations are welcome and greatly appreciated.