What is DTSAR

Mission Statement

Provide the response for overdue, lost, injured, or stranded people from an emergency incident in diverse environments. To use available personnel and equipment in a safe manner to locate and retrieve persons in distress, and provide for their initial medical or other needs and deliver them to a place of safety.


David Thompson Search and Rescue was organized in 1969 after a search for two young girls in the Ross Creek Cedars area of Lincoln County. Those who took part in the search recognized the need for an organized group that could be called up at anytime to conduct searches. This group was the start of what is now David Thompson Search and Rescue. The organization has grown in members, equipment and skills. It continues to grow as needs and funding are identified. The organization has been called upon from its start up in 1969 until now to respond to a variety of rescues and situations.


David Thompson Search and Rescue is a branch of the Lincoln County Sheriffs Office. We utilize county radio frequencies and repeaters. County funds, private donations and grants are used to finance operations and purchase equipment. There are no paid positions in the organization, all members are volunteers who donate their time and skills. The organization is based in Libby and serves all of South Lincoln County, but has been called upon by other counties and other states to assist in their operations.


CANAM Search and Rescue is the other search and rescue organization that operates in the county and is based in Eureka. CANAM handles most of the calls to the North. We work with them whenever they request and are available for us as well.


David Thompson Search and Rescue Organization is under direct control of Lincoln County Sheriffs Office. A Board governs the organization. Board members consist of the elected positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The board also consists of the Sheriff, Sheriff's Coordinator, who is appointed by the Sheriff, and the unit leader from each of the following units: ATV/Snowmobile Unit, Boat Unit, Canine Unit, Communications Unit, Dive Unit, 4X4 Unit, Medical Unit, and Mountain Unit. Each unit elects its unit leader. Each board member has a vote on motions brought up before the board.


Board meetings are open to the public and members but the business and motions need to be put forth by board members. The board meets once a month to conduct regular business. It does hold special meetings for new member interviews and for unique circumstances.


David Thompson Search and Rescue operates out the Search and Rescue (SAR) barn located at 301 City Service Road. It is located next to the river on City Service Road, down stream on the Libby side of the river, before the bridge.


The skills of the members make the organization. This is why a great deal of the emphasis is on training. All members are welcome to take any kind of training that is available. Notices of up coming trainings are usually mentioned at general meetings and in the newsletter and posted on the web calendar.