Published: Nov. 7, 2022

For 75 years, the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG) — a solely volunteer organization — has served as the main response agency for mountain search and rescue in Boulder County. Beginning in 1947 with its first headquarters in the basement of the CU Boulder engineering center, RMRG has held close ties with the university for decades. There is an RMRG student volunteer group at CU that is one of the university’s longest-running student organizations. Many alumni are also volunteers. 

“Being a part of RMRG means being a part of a long history of excellence in mountain search and rescue,” said Steve Dundorf (CivEngr’97; MS’01), an RMRG volunteer for almost 30 years. “It is about helping those in need and saving the lives of people in our outdoor community. And it is about working in the outdoor environment that we all love.” 

Technical mountain search and rescue can include: 

  • Scree evacuations 

  • Snowmobiles 

  • Helicopters 

  • ATVs

  • Avalanches

RMRG’s main priorities:

  • Technical mountain search and rescue 

  • Outdoor safety education

  • Disaster response 

Dog rescues happen at least once a year 

First meeting: Feb. 3, 1947 (celebrating 75 years this year) 

Works with more than 40 other emergency response agencies around Boulder County 

Everyone is a volunteer and there is no charge for rescues 

RMRG funding sources: 18% grants, 30% donations, 52% government contributions

RMRG covers 450 square miles of Boulder County, where there are 10M+ visits to open spaces a year 

200 search and rescue calls per year on average

15,000+ volunteer hours a year 

8,100 search and rescue calls since its formation in 1947

Photos courtesy RMRG