A group of volunteers in western North Dakota pitched in to create Badlands Search & Rescue, a group that they felt was badly needed.

The Badlands Search & Rescue group is the first of its kind created not only to protect and serve the Badlands but to also educate the community.

“Search and rescue is important in the area because we have a lot of rough terrain and a lot of people that have the excitement to go out and recreate, but not the knowledge,” said Stacey Baker, board member with the McKenzie County Search and Rescue.

A group of volunteers around western North Dakota founded this group after a reported 26 incidents that were of Search and Rescue type calls continued to increase within a three-year span. And in rough terrain, they are calls that are challenging for even the best.

“First responders we’ve had on hand to come out and handle those and a lot of time they’re not equipped for actual search and rescue type missions and so with our increase in population and incidents on the rise out here it just became more apparent that we needed to get something going,” said Travis Bateman, found of Badlands Search & Rescue.

“The Badlands Search & Rescue Group trains every Sunday at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in all conditions of weather to be better prepared for future calls,” said Bateman.

“Typically our calls come when the weather is bad. When it’s raining, it’s snowing, it’s muddy. That’s when accidents happen on the trail and so it is great to practice skills to navigate in the mud, in the rain and the wind, and try out new techniques and new tools that we have so that we’re prepared when the calls go out,” said Baker.

The Badlands Search & Rescue group said they do encourage donations and are excited to serve our community.