Welcome to Wolfe County Search & Rescue


The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team was founded in 2003 to serve the Wolfe County Community and the Greater Red River Gorge area. The team is composed entirely of volunteers and is funded entirely by donations.

Meet the Wolfe County SAR officers:

                                                                                     (Front L-R) Alex Hyrca, Mike Hackett, Becky Brewer, Travis Sapp & Jim Cuppy                                                                                          (Back L-R) Paull Shellabarger, David Maloney, John May, Drew Stevens & Eric Lutkenhoff (not shown)

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team serves the Wolfe County Community and the Red River Gorge under a charter from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and direction of the county Judge Executive. Wolfe County Search & Rescue also provides rescue support for Menifee & Breathitt County as well as the world renown Red River Gorge.

Since its inception in 2003, the team has responded successfully to countless wilderness accidents, lost person incidents & swift water rescues. Wolfe County Kentucky sits in the middle of some of the most beautiful gorges in the United States. Resplendent in waterfalls, caves, and high cliffs, this area attracts visitors from all over the world. And although our rock formations are magnificent, they are also potentially very dangerous. The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team – comprised of all volunteer citizens – is dedicated to providing specialized search and rescue services both to our local citizens and to the many folks who come here to enjoy the natural beauty of our area. Besides being skilled in search operations, the Team is proficient in high-angle rope rescue of the kind needed for the many cliff accidents that occur within the Red River Gorge. These rescues often need to be carried out in extreme conditions of weather, terrain, and location. They often require highly complex technical rope systems be set up quickly and efficiently to reach, treat, package, and evacuate seriously injured persons to definitive care. This requires the Team to dedicate a significant amount of time and training for these types of rescues.

During the 100 year flood in 2021 and the 1000 year flood of 2022, Wolfe County Search & Rescue deployed its swift water rescue team saving countless lives along the North Fork of the Ky River.  Although we spend much of our time hanging from cliffs in the Red River Gorge, our swift water team is up for any challenge mother nature may send our way.





In 2021 after a drowning in Wolfe Lake, the team expanded it’s capabilities once again to include a recovery team utilizing divers. Covering three different lakes, this new skill set will help provide rescue & recovery services not only above the water but below.

Members diving in 2023 @ Cozumel Mexico
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