Nestled in Sabino Canyon is the Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA) headquarters, where a team of dedicated volunteers spends their days ready to save others at a moment’s notice.

“I really enjoy being able to help people in need,” said Amy Dimiceli, who’s been with the organization for five years.

The mission of SARA volunteers is to locate and assist lost or injured hikers in some of Southern Arizona’s roughest terrain.

Equipped with skills and tools, rescuers like Dimiceli risk their own lives to bring others to safety.

“Having the skills and ability to help them out of that is very rewarding,” she said. “I really enjoy being able to hike with a purpose. Even those surprise hikes that come out in the middle of the night.”

During search and rescue missions, they encounter various situations.

“Were seeing people who are injured or lost. As far as injuries go, leg injuries are very common,” Dimiceli said. “Also, people forgetting to bring a light source like a headlamp or a flashlight is very common as well. Or simply people who lost the trail and cant find their way back.”

The organization’s efforts go beyond search and rescue. Dimiceli stated that in collaboration with Banner Health, they also participate in educating hikers on how to stay safe.

“[We like] to educate hikers on what it means to hike safe. Make sure they have enough water, ask them if they have enough water. If they have enough snacks. Make sure theyre prepared for the hike theyre going on,” said Dimiceli.

With the 2023 monsoon just days away, and summer being one of the most active seasons for rescuers at SARA, they hope to see new faces ready to put others before themselves.

“People who are interested in hiking, love the outdoors, and want to give back to their community are encouraged to join,” she said.

There are two upcoming meetings for anyone interested:

Tuesday, June 13, 7:00 pm 9:00 pm Thursday, July 06, 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Interested individuals must be at least 18 years old and attend one of the meetings. No experience is required, but a three-month training period commitment is mandatory.