When the Minutes Matter: Supporting Zion National Park Search and Rescue

Project Need: $41,500

With over 400 calls for rescue each season, the demand for Search and Rescue (SAR) resources in the Zion region is immense. Calls range from common heat-related issues to climbing accidents and swift water rescues. The diversity of Zion’s landscape requires a SAR team that is versatile, highly skilled, and equipped for any scenario.

Plateau District Ranger Paul Holthouse underscores the importance of comprehensive training: “Our SAR team faces a wide range of rescue scenarios, from technical climbing to navigating the fast-moving Virgin River. Each call reminds us of the critical need for personnel with diverse and rigorous training to ensure that the SAR team is ready for anything the park throws its way, especially when the minutes matter.”

Search and rescue services are not required or guaranteed, but they are needed. This year, the Zion Forever Project has prioritized funding for an extensive SAR training program to meet this need. This program will refine the team’s technical and swift water-based rescue skills and reinforce both the mental and team resilience required in high-stakes rescue missions. The program will be provided to a diverse mix of Rangers from across multiple regional parks and to search and rescue volunteers from within the community. These training programs bring in top experts from around the world to share their specialized Search and Rescue (SAR) knowledge with volunteers and park rangers.

Zion’s SAR team’s dedication to safeguarding visitors’ lives is a testament to the spirit of community that defines Zion National Park and embodies the search and rescue motto “That Others May Live.” Your support for these training initiatives is more than a donation; it extends a lifeline. By contributing, you’re helping to ensure that the park remains a place of adventure and awe where safety is paramount.