About us

Northwest Pennsylvania K-9 Search and Rescue is an all volunteer group that is dedicated to assisting public safety agencies in finding missing people. We are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We search for lost or missing people in wilderness, urban and disaster settings. We also locate human remains both on land and in water.

Our team will respond to assist anywhere we can, however our primary service area includes the following counties: Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Warren and Venango. We can only be activated by agencies handling a search incident, this would include law enforcement, fire departments and emergency management personnel. There is never a fee for our service. We are dispatched through the Crawford County 911 center by calling 1-800-223-3008 (this number is for emergencies only, to contact us please use the email on the contact us page).

There is a lot more to our team than K9's. We are trained and equipped to perform grid and foot searches in all types of weather and terrain. We also have training in a number of search related disciplines such as wilderness medicine, search management, disaster response and much more. We can also provide assistance to agencies coordinating a search with our knowledge of search planning, tactics and lost person behavior. It is also our pleasure to announce that we are both a member of the Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Council (PSARC) and also the newest members to the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference (ASRC). This will help us with our skills as a team as well as help provide mutual aid to fellow teams in Pennsylvania, as well as teams in Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Can anyone join the team?

Yes; we have the following positions: K9 Handler, Search Responder, and Auxiliary Members. Members must be a minimum of 18 years of age to join.

What other skills does NWPAK9SAR have?

We provide education to the community (hug-a-tree, boy scouts, etc.), continuing education for first responders, search and recovery (k9 and human resources), mutual aid to other SAR groups, search management, search theory, rope rescue and extrication.

Do the dogs have different jobs or disciplines?

Our dogs are trained in one or more of the following disciplines: Airscent, Trailing, Human Remains Detection, and Water Human Remains Detection.

Is there a fee for using your services?

No; we are an all-volunteer service.

Does weather affect services?

We are called out in all inclement weather. However if safety is an issue we may suspend the search temporarily.

How is NWPAK9SAR dispatched?

We are dispatched through the Crawford County 911 Center. We can only be dispatched by emergency agencies such as fire, police, etc… We are also listed on the PSARC one-call system

What is Search management?

Documenting and running a search in a way that is efficient, ensures the safety of everyone involved, and organizes resources to create the best possible chance to find the missing person. This involves subject profiling and managing and preparing field tasks to search high probability areas.

In the event of a missing person when is the best time to call?

The sooner the better! The potential search area grows exponentially the longer the person is missing.

Dispatch: (800) 223-3008 For Emergency Use Only Please

Alternative emergency contact number for those outside of Pennsylvania, call: (814) 460-0345

Technical Rescue

We are trained in the technical skills needed to locate and rescue a lost person

K-9 Teams

We have canine teams trained in trailing, air scent, and cadaver searches on land and in water

What other services do we offer?

We offer outreach to the community and also continuing education

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