Search and Rescue

Additional Information

Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR)
COSAR CARD: You should have a Colorado Search and Rescue card to assure some of the rescue expenses will be covered for you. The largest potential expense is aircraft deployment in a search incident. These aircraft can cost as much as $1,000 per hour of flight time. The COSAR card will help to reimburse Search and Rescue for this cost.
 COSAR reimburses Hinsdale County Search and Rescue and the Hinsdale County Sheriff's Office for various expenses incurred in a SAR incident. In addition, Hinsdale County SAR receives a generous annual grant in most years to acquire equipment such as ATVs and Snowmobiles and to fund training and education for our Team members.
 The COSAR card is available for one year or three years. Several merchants in Lake City and throughout Colorado have these cards for sale. Please purchase one for everyone in your party.

What does the CORSAR card cover?   
The card is not insurance. It does not pay medical transport which includes helicopter flights or ground ambulance. The card will allow reimbursement to county sheriffs for costs incurred on a mission.  These costs can include mileage, meals, replacement of lost equipment, reimbursement for gasoline, rental fees for equipment, horses, ATVS or aircraft that are used in a search. If the aircraft then becomes a medical transport due to a medical emergency, the medical portion of the transport is not covered.
Cards Cost
1 Year      $3.00
 5 Years    $12.00

Cards Available at :

      The Sheriff's Office , Any location where you purchase a Colorado Hunting & Fishing License, or online at:

Hinsdale County Search and Rescue

The Hinsdale County Search and Rescue unit reports to the Sheriff through the Undersheriff. It is headed by Director Keith Chambers with the support of coordinators manage the daily operations of the unit as well as their areas of responsibility during an incident.

The HCSAR team is comprised of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to the search and rescue efforts of this county. They are supported by an up-to-date inventory of a wide range of equipment ranging from a Command Trailer, Radios, OHVs and Snowmobiles, High angle and Ice Climbing rescue equipment, Snow Cat, and other needed equipment for a wide range of Search and Rescue scenarios. 


Precautions when enjoying the outdoors:

Colorado Mountain Hazards
Because of Colorado's highly variable climate and ter-
rain, backcountry users need to educate themselves
before venturing out. Weather can change rapidly.
Check the forecast and keep an eye on the sky to
anticipate changing conditions.
Lightning: Lightning can strike anywhere but tends
to hit high places. In Colorado, summer afternoon
thunderstorms are common.

Dramatic temperature drops:
Snowfall happens - even in summer!
Precipitation: If you get wet, it's difficult to stay

High Water: Water levels in Colorado streams
and rivers can rise quickly. High water from flash
floods or snow melt is possible.

Heat/Sun: Keep well hydrated; avoid sunburn, even
on cloudy days. The sun's radiation is intensified at
higher altitudes.

Terrain: Hazards caused by cliffs, loose and rocky
slopes, steep snowfield, avalanche-prone slopes or ice
require special skills or avoidance altogether.

Wildlife and Plants: Colorado is home to bears,
mountain lions, snakes, bees, mosquitoes, ticks, and
other wildlife. Know how to identify and avoid plants
such as poison ivy, cactus, and thistle.

High Altitude: Substantial increases in altitude
over a short time may pose a serious risk. Affects
of alcohol and caffeine are magnified at high altitude,
and can lead to more rapid dehydration and impaired

Human Responses: Consequences of these
hazards might include: hypothermia, frostbite, altitude
sickness, dehydration, sunburn, rashes, snow-blindness,
heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Proper training is
essential to prevent, recognize, and treat these conditions.

Use Your Head!
It's one of your best tools.

It's your responsibility to be aware of hazards and to
prepare for conditions you may encounter. Proper
training and experience are invaluable.

Ask Yourself ..•
• Do we have the appropriate skills and

• Should we modify our objectives in view of
the time, the weather, and the pace?
• Are we eating and drinking enough?
• Are we using the right clothing and
• Do we have our "hikers" card (COSAR)?

Items to Consider
Consider taking a few "essential" items with you:
Extra Food
Extra Clothing
Waterproof Clothing
Map, Compass, GPS
Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Flashlight (spare batteries & bulb)
First Aid Supplies
Matches, Lighter, Fire starter (in waterproof
Cell Phone (battery fully charged)
Cell phones may help you summon emergency help
quickly. However, battery life is limited and coverage
is unreliable in the mountains. Consider turning your
cell phone off unless needed.