Home » Fire » Community Outreach » Special Programs » Long Beach Search and Rescue

Long Beach Search & Rescue


      Through a program of community service, the mission of Long Beach Search & Rescue is to provide to young adults exposure to careers in public safety, and opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

The Long Beach Search & Rescue Unit is an award winning Learning for Life Explorer Post co-sponsored by the Long Beach Police Motor Patrol Association and Long Beach Firefighters Associations. For the past 60 years, we have trained young adults in urban search and rescue techniques, while providing positive role models in a climate of leadership and responsibility. Members are encouraged to explore career possibilities in law enforcement, fire suppression and emergency medical services.

The Unit is comprised of approximately 84 young adults between the ages of 15 and 21, senior staff instructors, and adult advisors (police officers and firefighters).  Unit members are on-call 24 hours a day and volunteer thousands of hours each year in support of our police and fire departments.

The organization is made up of all volunteers – no one is paid.  Long Beach Search & Rescue has trained over 1,250 young men and women.  Several hundred of these young volunteers have gone onto become professional police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. 


The recruitment for new members happens only once a year – on the first Tuesday night following a Saturday in October.  The next recruitment night is Tuesday, October 4, 2022.  It is an orientation meeting for interested youth and their parents, and applications for membership are distributed.  Usually, there are 60 to 120 youth interested each year.

The selection process includes an interview, physical ability exam, and background check.  Usually, the top 40 youth are selected to begin a Basic Rescue Recruit Academy that meets every Tuesday night for 16 weeks from November through February.

The Recruit Academy training includes classes in ropes and knots, radio communications, search operations, traffic control, fire behavior, fire suppression and extinguishment, along with first aid and CPR. The recruits learn about teamwork, personal responsibility, and leadership.

After they graduate from the Recruit Academy, weekly training includes firearm safety, vehicle extrication, ladder and hose operations, helicopter operations, Basic Life Support, rope rescue systems, and hazardous materials awareness.

Besides weekly training sessions, the members respond to emergency incidents at the request of the Long Beach Police and Fire Departments.

They assist the Fire Department at 2nd Alarm and greater fire incidents, at hazardous materials incidents, at aircraft accidents, and natural disasters, such as during severe wind and rain storms and flooding from high tides.

They assist the Police Department at missing person searches, evidence searches, SWAT team incidents, major crime scenes, officer involved shooting investigations, and canvassing neighborhoods with crime flyers.

Search & Rescue provides the emergency personnel working these incidents with refreshments, snacks, and meals from their mobile kitchen.  They provide emergency lighting to fire and crime scenes after dark and during power failure blackouts.  They provide trained, uniformed members to support the Fire and Police Department personnel at their command posts and emergency incident locations at least once every month.

Search & Rescue also provides safety support at many community events throughout the year.  They assist at the Ready Long Beach and other City safety fairs, Christmas parades and toy giveaways, Scout-O-Rama, and monthly Police Department sobriety checkpoints.

Requirements to apply to join the Unit are:

  • Be at least 15 and not yet 19 years of age by the start of the academy
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Demonstrate high moral and citizenship standards
  • Maintain at least a “C” grade average in school
  • Be physically fit and willing to devote a substantial amount of time to training, public events, and emergency call-outs.

Attend the recruitment orientation on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 7 pm, at the Unit’s Base at 2247 Argonne Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90815. 

They are located behind Fire Station 17 and the Long Beach Fire Department Captain David Rosa Regional Training Center.