Who We Are

RAT-SAR is a 501(c)(3) regional search, rescue, and training organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Alabama and member unit of the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads. The team is a responding agency for Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency Search and Rescue (Bankhead National Forest), and also provides aid to AHJs in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. RAT-SAR is founded on the Mountain Rescue / Alpine principles of self-sufficient, mobile teams trained to operate for extended periods of time in remote wilderness, mountainous, high angle, subterranean, hazardous terrain, and other austere environments. RAT-SAR does not charge for its services.


RAT-SAR is comprised of team members with extensive training and experience in wilderness land search, technical rope rescue, backcountry rescue, cave rescue, and search incident management. RAT-SAR works as a stand-alone team or attached to other teams operating under an Incident Command System. RAT-SAR also offers certified NASAR training to search and rescue members. RAT-SAR does not charge for any of its services.

The RAT-SAR team stands ready to assist AHJs in the Southeastern U.S. with the following:

  • Wilderness Land Search
  • K9 (Area, Scent Specific, HRD)
  • Incident Management / Search Planning
  • Backcountry Technical Rescue
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Cave Rescue
  • Team Training

Latest News

K9 Seminar

Good day of training at the NW AL K9 training seminar. Lots of HRD work today with K9s and handlers from several states. Many thanks to Billy with ALEA for coming out and spending some time working with the various teams on search and rescue capabilities within our state!

Cruso, NC Search

RAT-SAR responded to Haywood County (NC) request for assistance for search and rescue efforts due to the flash flood event in Cruso, NC. RAT SAR fielded a total of nine sar technicians on the first day and four on the following day searching debris piles and river banks.