Vail Mountain Rescue Group

A nonprofit organization

Vail Mountain Rescue Group is a non-profit organization based in Edwards, Colorado, that's dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue and mountain safety education. VMRG members are highly trained volunteers who respond to backcountry emergencies and never charge for the services they provide.


"Vail Mountain Rescue Group is staffed exclusively by volunteers who put in over 8,000 man-hours per year. They are on-call 24/7 and their job is often extremely dangerous, as they hang off cliffs, navigate rapids, tackle nearly impossible terrain, helicopter in when necessary, handle wildlife, carry the injured over miles of difficult landscape; all while protecting the well-being of each victim. They go where most people would never dare to enter and they do it, risking their lives, at no pay, for the sheer love of their community." Eagle County Sheriff James Van Beek


Our primary mission is to respond to any backcountry emergency when requested by the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, or any other Mountain Rescue organization, free of charge.

In addition, the team performs outreach to educate the general public about backcountry awareness, to preempt many of the emergencies we respond to.

We also recruit, train and help equip a roster of active members who are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, prepared to respond to any backcountry emergency in an efficient, reliable, and safe manner.

Background Statement

Vail Mountain Rescue Group traces its origins to the earliest days of the Town of Vail. Back then, whenever a skier or a hunter went missing in the wilderness, the county sheriff walked into Donovan's Copper Bar and recruited whomever was available to mount a backcountry rescue mission. In 1977, a core group of local ski patrollers, ranchers, mountain climbers and wilderness guides who typically responded to the sheriff's calls formed an official nonprofit with a noble mission: providing assistance to anyone having an emergency in the wilderness, free of charge.

Forty five years later, our mission remains the same but our mission load, and resources have grown to include four rescue vehicles, seven snowmobiles, two rafts, three Side by Sides, and a mountain of gear cached at its 5,000-square-foot Edwards headquarters. All of which must be maintained for mission-ready status; our operational costs average $150,000 a year, funded only by donations. Since January, VMRG, which counts 51 active volunteer members, has been paged out more than 140 times, rescuing 210 subjects, never charging for its services.

We operate under the authority of the Eagle County Sheriff, maintain national certification through the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), and are active members of the Colorado Search and Rescue Board (CSRB) and the Colorado Hoist Rescue Team (CHRT).

Organization Data


Organization name

Vail Mountain Rescue Group

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief

Organization Size

Medium Organization


1055 Edwards Village Blvd PO Box 2881
Edwards, CO 81632


PO Box 2881
Edwards, CO 81632

Service areas

Eagle County, CO, US





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