Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, Inc.

A nonprofit organization

ARP exists only by contributions from those interested in supporting its cause. Your contributions are vital to provide these services to the lost and injured, free of charge.


"Words cannot express our gratitude for your help in the search for my sister . . . Your dedication to the search touched our family deeply . . . Thank You for making a difference in people's lives." --Sister of Victim.

" . . . our office requested assistance from the Arapahoe Rescue Patrol in the search of an extensive area where the car of a missing person was found. . . . upon arrival, it was obvious that your team was well trained, organized, and professional in the approach to the mission . . . " --Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

"I am writing to express my appreciation to the Arapahoe Rescue Patrol. Members of the Patrol were instrumental in three evidence searches concerning a recent active homicide case in Arapahoe County. Two of the three searches were in Southern Colorado. A member of your team actually located the key piece of evidence we were looking for." --Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.


The Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, Inc. is a search and rescue (SAR) unit whose primary mission is to find missing persons, give them aid, if needed, and bring them to safety. In addition to this primary mission, the Patrol is committed to help local authorities and other emergency units to the limit of its ability.

Background Statement

In the fall of 1957 an attempt was made to organize a search and rescue team in the Littleton area. Such a team was urgently needed to help in searching for missing persons in the area.

Very few adults in the area were interested, or could afford the time needed to organize and operate such a unit. Finally, a group of students at Littleton Sr. High School - the only high school in the area at that time - offered to form a team. Key students in the original organization were Bob Fria, Jeff Lane and Dave Bailey.

At first, the group was quite small and had little training. There were no books or manuals as guides, so the team had to develop their own search and rescue techniques. Seventeen high school students made up the first roster. Their first mission was a search for a missing aircraft South of Littleton. The team had a total of 35 activities in the first year - including meetings, missions and other activities. After that, as training and membership grew, the group began to receive recognition from different law enforcement and emergency units in the area. The Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder (the only other team in the state at that time) was instrumental in providing the basic training for the Patrol.

Official organization and chartering was done in the spring of 1958. It was under the direction of three men - Mr. Scott Kenton, District Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, Mr. Gene Matthews, Program Secretary of the Littleton YMCA and Mr. Stan Bush, counselor at Littleton Sr. High School. The Patrol was first chartered as a youth program by the Littleton YMCA.

The Patrol received national recognition during the summer of 1964 when it received third prize in the Parents' Magazine Youth Group Achievement Award contest for Outstanding Service to the Community.

The Patrol has received many other citations and over 600 letters of commendation from victims, their families and emergency agencies. It has received the La Sertoma Youth Service Award. During the 1965 flood of the Plum Creek/Platte River basin the Patrol received the Governor's Citation for two weeks of continuous flood work as well as a special citation from the Douglas County Civil Defense Agency.

In 1972 the Patrol was officially recognized as the Light Duty Rescue Team for the City of Littleton.

In 1976 the Patrol responded to assist with the Big Thompson Flood in Northern Colorado and received another Governor's Citation.

In 1980 the Patrol was featured in the Bulletin of the Federal Emergency Management Agency with pictures and an article about its activities.

Through presentations at national conventions, the Patrol is also nationally recognized as a unique youth rescue team. The Handbook of the Patrol is in use by groups in many states and foreign countries. Feature articles on the Patrol have appeared in the "International Rescue and First Aid" magazine, "National Law and Order" magazine, "National Wildlife, "National Search and Rescue" magazines, "Emergency" magazine, in the "Colorado Policeman" and the magazine of the Colorado Law Enforcement Officers Association.

In 1989 the Patrol was featured on the "NBC Today" show after a rock rescue in Roxborough Park, and on the CBS television show "Rescue 911" when members recreated a successful search for two missing girls on Devil's Head.

The Patrol regularly appears on local television stations during search and rescue operations.

Over the years the Patrol has continued to grow. Members are now involved in nearly 2,500 activities each year. It is estimated that it would cost a government agency over $500.000 a year to duplicate the services donated by the Patrol to the community and Colorado. The Patrol, however, does NOT charge for its services.

Organization Data


Organization name

Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, Inc.

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief

Organization Size

Small Organization


6529 South Broadway
Littleton, CO 80121

Service areas

Arapahoe County, CO, US



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