Public Safety Division Search and Rescue

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Search & Rescue

Benton County Search and Rescue, (BCSAR), is a volunteer emergency service organization operating under the authority of the Benton County Emergency Management Agency.

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BCSAR is dedicated to saving lives by providing a professionally managed Technical Response Team capable of managing and effecting difficult search and rescue operations. As part of the team’s commitment to the community BCSAR will respond to:

  • Lost Person Incidents
  • Evidence Searches
  • Cave Search and Extractions
  • Moving Water Rescues
  • High Angle/Vertical Rescue Applications
  • Remote Wilderness Medical Situations

The volunteer members of BCSAR are devoted to the professional advancement of Search and Rescue in Benton County, the State of Arkansas and on the national level.


Benton County Search and Rescue, BCSAR, was established in June 1988 by volunteers within the Northwest Arkansas community in partnership with the Benton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). The unit’s existence was based upon an inquiry received by the EMA office as to whether the county had a search and rescue preplan. The initial request originated from the county’s largest public wilderness area, the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area (HSP-CA), which had experienced SAR related incidents in previous years. Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area (HSP-CA), has been, and continues to be a very important partner in the initial and ongoing research and development of the BCSAR organization.

Following a year of research and development, a strong organizational foundation was created, specifically emphasizing search, rescue, recovery and Preventative Search and Rescue education. Upon completion of this organizational phase, unit members began a structured educational/training program, which was purposely designed to emphasize personal survival and search techniques, prior to rescue training.

Since its inception, BCSAR has responded to numerous search and rescue related incidents in Arkansas as well as the surrounding states.


BCSAR membership applications are accepted year round from individuals who are at least eighteen (18) years of age and a resident of Northwest Arkansas. Each applicant, if accepted, will serve as an apprentice member for a one year probationary period during which time they will be expected to satisfactorily
complete all required apprentice trainings, REGARDLESS of previous experience or training. All BCSAR members are expected to make a serious commitment to help those in need in the most professional and proficient manner possible. This committment entails a great amount of time, personal responsibility and training.

If you would like further information about becoming a member of the team please email at Personnel Officer or or contact us for more information (479-271-1004).


The BCSAR Training Program is a comprehensive program designed to provide each member with a standardized level of outdoor/survival knowledge while also providing hands-on working knowledge of search and rescue skills. Every member is expected to actively participate in classroom lectures, field exercises, and work details. All members, regardless of background or previous training, are required to attend. BCSAR’s training program is passed upon a series of achievement levels, with each level being a prerequisite for the next level. Many members choose to cross-train in several technical and management disciplines while others specialize in a specific area of interest. BCSAR’s training program is not for the casual participant. The intense training schedule and demands on personal time has deterred many individuals who cannot devote the time, determination and commitment for search and rescue operations.

  • Administrator of Public Safety

    Robert McGowen


    Administration Building

    215 E. Central Ave.
    Bentonville, AR 72712

    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Open through lunch






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