Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not able to volunteer but I would like to help. What can I do?
15-90 Search & Rescue has a long list of desired equipment and training that we cannot afford. Financial donations are always welcome and graciously accepted. More about donating can be found on the Donate page.
What kinds of missions do you respond to?
Our primary obligation is wilderness and urban search and rescue. This has included lost hunters, downed airplanes, avalanche victims, drowning victims, lost children, and even nursing home walk-aways. We also assists law enforcement with evidence retrieval, crowd control and security. In addition we trained for emergency response such as wildfire, earthquakes, floods, haz-mat, and evacuation emergencies.
How many times a year do you get called out?
Call-outs vary from as few as 3 or 4 a year to as many as 36 in a single year. The number is often controlled by the weather, in harsh years the number of searches can rise dramatically.
I collect patches or badges can I purchase one from you?
We do not sell badges or patches. Members return these items when they leave the group.
How are you funded?
15-90 receives a small stipend from the Sheriff's budget which basically covers our taxes and insurance. In 2022 Butte-Silver Bow passed a mill levy that supports our operations and trainings. 15-90 Search & Rescue never solicits funding by telephone solicitation and any organization that calls and represents that is a SCAM.
How are you affiliated with the Butte Law Enforcement Department?
Under Montana law search and rescue falls under the authority of the County Sheriff. We have an excellent relationship with Sheriff Ed Lester and Captain Doug Conway who serve as our liaison with the Department.
Do you provide mutual aid to other counties?
15-90 Search and Rescue routinely assists other counties and teams as requested and has requested assistance from other teams in the past. The group works well with other teams and shares equipment and training on a regular basis.