How to Join

Dear Prospective KCSMSAR member,

Thank you for showing interest in joining the Kern County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue Group. Our horse/rider teams are certified in 24 skill areas and are especially useful in hasty searches and covering large areas. Riders have a higher vantage point than those on foot, expanding their view in rural and back country as well as urban settings. A horse will react to movements, sounds, or smells not initially apparent to human senses, enhancing the search capability of the rider. Mounted SAR is also ideal for search perimeter control and other units may benefit from transportation of equipment and supplies by the Mounted Unit.
The following is an overview of the essential requirements to become a member:

  • All prospective members must attend at least two meetings to find out about the group and vice versa. Meetings are held in Building "H" at the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters Facility, 1350 Norris Road, Bakersfield, on the second Tuesday of each month starting at 7:00 p.m.
  • After attending the two preliminary meetings the prospective member may submit an application. The membership will then interview the prospective member during the general meeting.

  • If accepted by the membership, the prospective member will undergo a comprehensive background investigation, fingerprinting, drug screen, and physical exam. Applicants with felony convictions and/or misdemeanor crimes of moral turpitude will not be accepted.
  • Upon passing the background investigation and physical exam, the prospective member will be sworn-in as a commissioned member and enter a one year probationary period. Probationary members are allowed to attend all meetings, trainings, and some call outs.
  • Members are required to provide their own uniforms and are expected to start accumulating items on the equipment list.
  • Members are required to attend a minimum of 50% of meetings and 50% of trainings annually to maintain good standing within the unit. New members are encouraged to attend more than 50% to accelerate their learning of the search and rescue skills.
  • All members are required to provide their own horse, saddle and tack, tow vehicle, and trailer.
  • Members must pass a Proficiency Examination with their horse. The horse and rider must demonstrate good temperament and horsemanship skills by completing a series of tasks.
  • At the end of the probationary year, members in good standing and in compliance with the KCSO Search and Rescue Policies and Procedures will be accepted as Full Members.
As you can see, this process is long and difficult. This is by design as the Kern County Sheriff’s Office maintains high standards and requirements. Although we have enjoyable trainings and ride in interesting areas we are not a social riding club, we are a public support organization with the purpose of rescuing citizens and saving lives.
Forms Required to become a member: 
Prospective Member Application
MSAR Waiver and Release of Liability
PO Box 935
Bakersfield, CA 93302