Each year in Yosemite, rangers and volunteers complete 200–250 emergency response missions. The Preventive Search and Rescue (PSAR) program aims to reduce accident, injury and fatality rates in Yosemite by 20 percent by 2020, sparing up to 50 families every year from the grief associated with serious injury or death.

Incidents have declined steadily in recent years, but visitor education remains crucial. In 2017, PSAR interns and volunteers educated visitors year-round, sharing key safety tips about everything from frazil ice, water crossings and late-season snow to staying hydrated on hot summer hikes. Their outreach included presentations within and outside the park, customized signs and GPS-activated audio messages on hiker shuttles, and more than 70,000 in-person conversations.  The PSAR team also collaborated with others in the park to help hold a special Swift Water Safety Day in late spring, before the busy Memorial Day Weekend.

Your contribution supported an important program that helps ensure visitors can safely enjoy the wonders of Yosemite. Visit our blog to learn more about PSAR and brush up on safety tips for your next trip.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, Friends of Yosemite Search and Rescue, and Yosemite Hospitality.

Lisa J. Hendy

Emergency Services Program Manager, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

We will reduce the most striking consequence of serious injuries and fatalities: the insurmountable grief of the affected person and their families. The suffering is felt by many, including all of their loved ones throughout the country. Visitors who witness the event are often impacted. Additionally, preventing visitor injury incidents will reduce temporary trail closures, traffic delays, and wilderness disturbance caused by rescue efforts.