The Wilderness Search and Rescue team, commonly known as WSAR, was established in 1987 and is a ground-search team based out of Fairbanks, Alaska composed of un-paid volunteers that have training, experience, and equipment necessary for search & rescue operations in Interior Alaska. WSAR is a registered non-profit service organization made of members from the Fairbanks community. WSAR serves as an un-paid auxiliary to the Alaska State Troopers to augment their departmental search and rescue efforts.
The only state larger than our primary search area is Texas. This are is over twice the size of 40 of the remaining states. We are directly accountable to Alaska State Trooper Detachment D which has posts in Barrow, Cantwell, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Galena, Healy, Nenana, Northway, and Tok and serves dozens of additional outlying communities and villages.
In the State of Alaska there are approximately 500 search and rescue incidents each year that fall within the jurisdiction of the Alaska State Troopers. This results in approximately 30,000 man hours, of which over two thirds are volunteer hours.
The back-bone of search and rescue services in Alaska is provided by trained volunteers without whom effective search and rescue cannot be conducted. In addition to the Alaska State Troopers, Wilderness Search and Rescue also provides service through resource sharing agree-ments with the US military, municipal and borough agencies, National Park Service, and other federal agencies.