Volunteer search and rescue in Santa Barbara county dates back to 1962 when three separate teams were formed in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria. These early groups began the tradition that continues to this day of ordinary individuals from across the community committing themselves to train and prepare to help those in need.
The Los Padres team focused on wilderness search and rescue which led the team to apply and qualify as a member of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) in the late 1970’s. For many years Los Padres SAR was one of only a dozen California teams that met the high technical rock, snow & ice and search standards of the MRA.
The Santa Maria and Lompoc teams merged in 1994, and were joined in 1997 by a team formed in Solvang to cover the Santa Ynez Valley. Finally, in 2001 these various teams were unified into the single county-wide team we have today.