About

RAT-SAR is a 501(c)(3) regional search and rescue agency incorporated under the laws of the State of Alabama and a member unit of the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads.

RAT-SAR is the official NASAR State of Alabama Association Sponsor and conducts sanctioned NASAR courses and certifications for search and rescue members in the state of Alabama.

RAT-SAR is a responding agency for Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency Search and Rescue (Bankhead National Forest), and has also provided 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 and other austere environments.

The RAT-SAR team includes paramedics, EMT’s, wilderness medics (WFR), rope rescue technicians, cave rescue technicians, swiftwater rescue technicians, land search technicians, wide area search personnel, and NASAR SARTECH I & II personnel. All RAT-SAR team members, including the Executive Board are un-paid volunteers.

RAT-SAR does not charge for its services and is solely funded by its members and supporters.

RAT-SAR works as a stand-alone team or attached to other teams operating under an Incident Command System and stands ready to assist AHJs with the following:

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

RAT-SAR maintains equipment to support search, rescue and patient evacuation operations. Each member carries personal equipment adequate to ensure self-sufficiency in both underground and above ground environments for extended periods of time.

RAT-SAR is not an Emergency Medical Agency, although many of its members are licensed medical responders. Our mission is locating, accessing, stabilizing, and safely transporting patients to areas where EMS and definitive care operations can be performed.

RAT-SAR is fully licensed, insured and ready to assist any agency, within the bounds of its charter, as a public service.

RAT-SAR does not self-dispatch. Individuals needing assistance with an emergency should contact 911. An AHJ should contact the RAT-SAR Team directly to request assistance: (256) 458-3184, (256) 613-3834 and/or (256) 679-2596. RAT-SAR dispatches its members via Active911, so please have location address and on-scene contact information available when you call.

Please note that due to the large amount of telemarketing calls, if we do not have your number listed in our phones we will not answer. Leave a voicemail and we will immediately return your call.