William “Bill” Foley founded the team in 1998 with the help of three other individuals. In 1999, Bill filed for 501c3 status and was granted that status in the same year. The team grew to about 50 members, but due to a lack of calls the number dwindled to a small group. The team did not have K9 in the earlier years and consisted only of ground and rope operations. At one point the team tried at getting an equestrian team and an ATV unit. The membership grew and plans were made to develop Battalions with a Chief assigned to each, with each Battalion covering one County as a primary response. The coverage which was being planned was to cover Adams, Dauphin, Cumberland, and Franklin Counties. In a sense, this was regionalizing the team and having team members that resided in that county as the primary response. Over time, that plan was never implemented and again team down sized.
In 2012 the team was rebuilt and the K9 unit was born. This was a small unit consisting of four K9 teams and between 2014 and 2018 grew to about 13 K9 teams, five of them were operational and the remaining K9 teams were at various levels of training. The team grew as well and went from about 15 to 60 members. It was also between 2017 and 2019 that the team hosted several DCNR classes, such as Basic Wilderness Grid, Advanced Wilderness Grid, Water Awareness, and CERT classes. Online training requirements for new team and current team members became standard. NIMS, Landing Zone, Pet First Aid, CPR AED, and many more class became the normal training standards for the team.
During the year of 2019, the Chief Officers met with York County 911 and several community officials from Hellam and Wrightsville concerning the status of the team not having a station number nor being in CAD. With the support of the community and community leaders and York County 911, South Central PA Search and Rescue was provided the designation “Search 93”.
On January 2021, designation “Search 93” and placed into the York County 911 CAD system. Since that date we have continued our working relationship with County officials and the York County 911/OEM.
The team has had several accomplishments between 2018 and today. The K9 team has grown, and training has increased. The team has grown its Water Rescue capabilities and also its rope rescue capabilities. The trailer used as incident command for the team has had an upgrade including emergency lights and work lighting on the sides.
Most recently, the team has taken the drone program from infancy to operational. We have two licensed operators and incorporated the LOC8 program into our drone operations. We have added a handheld FLIR camera and went from two Search managers to 12. Most importantly, we became partners with the York County Child Abduction Response Effort, (C.A.R.E.). Training with the York County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit is conducted monthly with our K9 team.
The team went from an average of 10 -15 calls for service in 2014 to 25-30 calls from service. The team continues to grow in numbers, capabilities, and services it provides to the community it serves.
MLSO Search Managers
NASAR SAR Tech I, II, III, IV Responders
NASAR Advanced SAR Responders
NASAR Search and Rescue Initial Actions Responders
Wilderness Search Responders
Grid Search Responders
Advanced Grid Search Responders
AFRCC Basic Inland Search and Rescue Responders
FEMA ESF # 9 Search & Rescue Responders
FEMA USAR Technical Search Specialists
FEMA USAR K9 Search Specialists
USAR Initial Search & Recon Operations Responders
Child Abduction Response Team Members
Incident Command Responders
Wilderness First Aid Responders
PA Certified EMR
PA Certified EMTs
PA Licensed Physician Assistants
Certified Pet First Aid Responders
PA Certified Water Rescue Technicians
PA Certified Water Rescue Awareness Responders
PA Certified Water Rescue and Emergency Response Responders
PA Certified Emergency Boat Operations Rescue Responders
PA Certified Ice Rescue Awareness Responder
PA Certified Ice Rescue Emergency Response Responders
PA Certified Advanced Line Systems Rescue Responders
PA Certified Rescue Technician
High Angle Rope Rescue Technicians
Certified Safety Officers
Haz-Mat Operations Responders
Haz-Mat Awareness Responders
FAA Part 107 Licensed Drone Operators
Advanced SkyWarn Responder
HAM Radio Operators
(Plus many more additional certifications and credentials)
SCPASAR is founded on ethical behavior and values by our members and partners, and our commitment extends throughout the organization as we interact with agencies, the public, and one another.
We emphasize fiscal accountability by ensuring that all expenditures directly or indirectly reflect the trust placed in SCPASAR by its donors and grant providers.
We maintain an environment of mutual respect founded on open, honest communication. We embrace the diversity of our team and individual perspectives in working together to achieve our common goals
We achieve excellence through constant training and preparation as our members continually exercise their skills using the materials and equipment required to deliver the highest quality services possible in any environment.
SCPASAR will train and prepare to provide professional level skills and support to requesting agencies and communities. SCPASAR will act as a Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters in both the response and recovery phases of disasters and incidents.
We will deliver service that meets or exceeds the requested assistance while ensuring the safety and well-being of our members and partners.
Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (PA VOAD)
York County CARE Team
York County, PA CERT Team
York City, PA CERT Team
Eastern York County Emergency Management Agency
Hellam Township Emergency Operations Center
Hellam Township; Hellam, PA
Wrightsville Boro; Wrightsville, PA
Newberry Regional Emergency Management Agency
Lancaster County Conservancy
Clearview Animal Hospital
Collinsville Community Library
Franklin Twp. Emergency Management Agency
Lancaster County Firemen's Association, Inc.