SARCOM is an all-volunteer organization that primarily provides communications for search and rescue operations in Marion County, Oregon. We also provide training and support to neighboring agencies and organizations.
SARCOM is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and as an Oregon Public Benefit non-profit corporation. We do not receive any federal, state, or local government funding.
Since SARCOM is entirely operated by volunteers, all funds are used specifically to cover the costs of equipment and other necessary resources; SARCOM does not have any employed members or administrative overhead.
Search and rescue operations require a variety of teams and resources to successfully locate subjects. SARCOM is responsible for coordinating and tracking all personnel in the field, as well as relaying information between field units, incident command, and other agencies.
Marion County presents many challenges for radio communications due to the steep wilderness terrain. SARCOM is capable of adapting to varying conditions and provide a large coverage area through the use of portable repeaters.
SARCOM is also available to provide services during an emergency, such as a natural disaster, at the request of the Sheriff.
Mission Statement: Our primary function is to provide radio communication and logistical support to the Marion County Sheriff's Office and other requesting Sheriff's Offices during assigned Search & Rescue operations and Emergency Management Agencies during disasters throughout Oregon.
Vision: To develop and maintain the highest possible proficiency in Land Mobile Radio communications to first responders and Emergency Management agencies in Oregon. To provide survival skills education and training to children and adults while in forested and wilderness areas.
Marion County SARCOM was organized as a Public Benefit Corporation under the laws of the State of Oregon on August 22, 2002. MC SARCOM received its federal tax exempt status under 501(c)(3) on November 2, 2002. Prior to its incorporation, radio communications among units of Marion County Search & Rescue (SAR) were managed by an ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group, as is true with many County SAR organizations in Oregon. Former Marion County Sheriff Raul Ramirez recognized the need for a dedicated Search & Rescue radio communications unit, and approached Marion County ARES with a proposal to joint SAR.
From its humble beginning working a single radio from a trailer with an antenna, SARCOM has blossomed into a dynamic, adaptable land-mobile radio emergency response unit. Following the donation of a retired ambulance by the City of Woodburn, SARCOM obtained a second ambulance donated by Rural Metro Ambulance in 2012. Also in 2012, SARCOM joined Mount Hood SAR Council and affiliated itself with a sister unit, Mountain Wave Emergency Communications, serving the Portland Metro area. In 2014, SARCOM added two Hasty Vehicles, which are completely outfitted with radio equipment.
SARCOM added Oregon Emergency Communications as an assumed business name in 2013, and obtained authorization under Oregon Emergency Management's SAR Communications Plan to use the State's license for multiple Search & Rescue radio frequencies. Today, SARCOM operates radio communications as requested by Marion County and adjacent Counties. SARCOM also provides radio services for numerous individual Oregon Search & Rescue Organizations performing duties as Mounted Posse, K-9, and SAR field units.