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Thinking About Joining?

To join the search and rescue a prospective member comes to a meeting introduces themselves and fills out an application for membership.

What happens after I turn in an application?

Your application will be given to the Sheriff's department they will run a background check. If your background check comes back with no criminal record. The members will vote on having you join the group with a probationary status that will last 6 months. During the probabtionary period, we expect you to attend searches, work parties, fund raisers and other events. During this time you will need to obtain a First Aid Card. After 6 months has passed the members have seen you perform they will vote on whether or not to make you a full member.

What skills does 15-90 look for?

Outdoor skills, hunters, snowmobilers, hikers, technical climbers, and rafters.  But members are not limited to outdoorsmen (or women), the primary requirement is the commitment, enthusiasm, and the willingness to learn and work hard.  To join an applicant must secure a basic first aid and CPR card.

What do you expect out of your members?

We expect members to be committed and dedicated to the organization and to the community.

Do you get called at night?

Members are subject to call out 24/7/365.

How old do I need to be to apply?

Applicants must be 18 years of age and citizens of the United States.

What if I can't respond due to family or work?

Members are expected to attend most meetings, most training, most activities (parades, food drives, etc.), and all searches and emergency responses.  Everybody misses sometimes but if you cannot make the search and rescue a priority this is not the organization for you.


Why do you do a background check?

Members are Auxiliary Sheriffs Deputies under Montana Law.  A background check is necessary to eliminate parties with criminal, violence or mental health issues.

Who need not apply?

Applicants with criminal records, restraining orders, or mental health issues need not apply.

Do you get paid?

Members receive no compensation or pay.  The 15-90 is a volunteer organization. 

How much does it cost to join the team?

Members pay dues of $12 a year.  Members absorb all their own expenses, gas, fuel, equipment, clothing, damages to vehicles, etc.

What equipment do you carry?

How big is the team?

The roster usually fluctuates between 40 and 50 members.

If I join search & rescue, do I get to arrest people?

As Auxiliary deputies we do not have arrest authority in Montana.

Do you have worker compensation? What does it cover?

We have limited worker's compensation coverage for medical expenses. There is no wage reimbursement coverage.

Is search and rescue dangerous?

Safety first, that is our key.  In 52 years we have only had 3 members who had to seek some sort of medical care, twice the care was very minor and the other time the injury was aggravated by preexisting conditions, and the injury was not caused by a dangerous situation.  Just the same safety is key. 15-90 is going out to deal with emergencies in the dark, in the worst weather, at the most dangerous locations, when everyone else is going home.  Every members' first concern is safety.

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