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Help Us Expand Our Lifesaving Services: Support LAR's Growth into Search and Rescue (SAR)!

Join us in our mission to enhance and expand Lakes Area Rescue in 2024, responding to the growing needs of the Brainerd Lakes Area. With the remarkable population and visitor growth in Crow Wing County and Cass County, the demand for a comprehensive Search and Rescue (SAR) team has never been higher. Our goal is to provide unparalleled emergency care to our community.

We are excited to announce our ambitious plans to expand our specialized services to include Wildland Search and Rescue and Water/Ice Rescues.

Recent Expansion

In May, we announced our partnership and merger with Crow Wing County First Responder Zone 1, expanding Lakes Area Rescue’s coverage area to 350 square miles and over 16,000 residents, with close to 60 dedicated First Responders on our team. Our service area now includes:

  • First Assessment District

  • Fort Ripley Township

  • St. Mathias Township

  • Crow Wing Township

  • Oak Lawn Township

  • Nokay Lake Township

  • Long Lake Township

  • Daggett Brook Township

  • Maple Grove Township

  • East Gull Lake


How You Can Help

We have the dedicated team and the drive, but we need your help to raise the necessary funds for acquiring essential Search and Rescue (SAR) equipment and providing top-notch training for our members. Your support will enable us to establish a dedicated Search and Rescue (SAR) team to better serve our community.

What We're Bringing to the Community:

  • Expansion of Coverage: Lakes Area Rescue now covers a service area of 350 square miles with over 16,000 residents, supported by 60 dedicated first responders.

  • Search and Rescue (SAR): Expanding our services to include Search and Rescue (SAR) will support the exceptional work of our local fire and sheriff departments by providing additional manpower, specialized training, and unique equipment. This collaborative approach will enhance overall emergency responsiveness and establish a county-wide automatic mutual aid system for rescue-related calls.

  • Advanced Training for Volunteers: Offering specialized technical training to equip our team with the latest in Search and Rescue (SAR) operation techniques.

  • A Dedicated Home Base: Establishing a physical location to boost operational effectiveness, equipment storage, and response times.

  • State-of-the-Art Equipment Upgrade: Procuring advanced equipment, including thermal imaging drones, a UTV, water/ice rescue gear, and a Sherp, to ensure superior access across challenging terrains.


Why Your Support Matters:

As we venture into these much-needed services, your support is critical. Our ambitious expansion requires significant investment in cutting-edge equipment, advanced volunteer training, and the creation of our operational base. Operating solely on donations and without government funding, every contribution to Lakes Area Rescue is vital. Your generosity is the cornerstone of our ability to enhance service capacity and respond to the rising demand for emergency services in our community.

Every donation, regardless of size, makes a profound difference. Join us in making a significant impact today.

Lakes Area Rescue is a proud 501(c)(3) charity non-profit organization, driven by community support and donations.

Donations may also be mailed to:

Lakes Area Rescue

PO Box 13

Merrifield, MN 56465

Receipts will be mailed for all donations.


Who We Are:  

Lakes Area Rescue provides emergency medical services (EMS) and Rescue Services to Crow Wing County, Cass County and parts of Brainerd. We’re a Medical Response Unit (MRU), registered with the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board of Minnesota (EMSRB). When someone dials 911 in an emergency, our members are dispatched through the Crow Wing County and Cass County Sheriff's office. Once on scene we provide a wide range of services to support the patient(s) until they can be transported.

Our team is a diverse group of professionals, including nurses, paramedics, EMTs (emergency medical technicians), EMRs (emergency medical responders), and firefighters. Many of our members also serve in nearby fire departments and other EMS agencies. Lakes Area Rescue provides essential emergency services to a community of over 16,000 residents and an area of 350 Sq. miles.

Our Mission:  

Lakes Area Rescue’s mission is to provide superior emergency response services to Crow Wing County and Cass County, Minnesota. As a volunteer-operated and donation-funded Medical Response Unit, our commitment reaches beyond delivering immediate, life-saving support in emergencies, extending to the ongoing nurturing of our community's well-being. This dedication is bolstered by the generous support of our donors and a profound belief in the transformative power of community service and volunteerism.

Integral to our mission is the development of robust relationships and partnerships with local fire departments, law enforcement, and other EMS Agencies, ensuring a cohesive and efficient response to those in need. We are dedicated to continually finding ways to grow our department, with a focus on expanding our emergency and rescue services to better meet the evolving needs of our growing community and its citizens. Our efforts to constantly seek growth and expansion highlight our commitment to setting the standard for excellence in emergency services.

Through collaboration, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of innovation and improvement, we aim to not only respond to emergencies but to actively enhance the safety, health, and quality of life for all members and visitors of our community.

Our Vision:  

To be an inspiration of hope and a pillar of emergency care in Crow Wing County and Cass County, Minnesota, setting the standard for excellence in volunteer-driven, community-focused emergency care. We envision a future where every individual in our community feels safe, supported, and empowered, knowing that in their moment of greatest need, a highly trained and compassionate team stands ready to make a difference. Our vision extends beyond immediate care—to foster a community united in health, safety, and mutual support, where the generous spirit of volunteerism and the commitment to making a difference enrich the lives of all residents and visitors to our community.

We aspire to partner with local fire departments, law enforcement, and other EMS organizations to achieve a unified goal of serving our community and citizens. Our commitment to growth ensures that our services evolve to meet the demands of our expanding community, and we seek to broaden our scope to include emergency rescue services that complement and enhance the existing top-notch efforts of our local partners. Through collaboration, shared objectives, and a dedication to helping others, we believe we can achieve greater milestones and foster an environment where joint efforts lead to the betterment of our community. United in purpose, we are dedicated to building a lasting legacy of compassion, resilience, unwavering support, and mutual respect that will endure and inspire for generations to come.

Our Values:  

  1. Compassion: Demonstrating empathy and understanding towards those in need.

  2. Professionalism: Upholding high standards of conduct, integrity, and competence in all aspects of service delivery.

  3. Teamwork: Collaborating effectively with colleagues, other emergency services, and community partners to achieve common goals.

  4. Respect: Treating all individuals with dignity, regardless of their background or circumstances.

  5. Excellence: Striving for the highest quality in care, training, and performance.

  6. Adaptability: Being flexible and responsive to the dynamic nature of emergency situations and evolving best practices.

  7. Safety: Prioritizing the well-being of patients, team members, and the community in all actions and decisions.

  8. Accountability: Taking ownership of responsibilities and actions, and learning from both successes and challenges.

  9. Community Engagement: Engaging with and empowering the community through education, outreach, and partnership-building.

  10. Continuous Improvement: Committing to ongoing learning, innovation, and refinement to enhance service delivery and outcomes.