Yosemite’s Search and Rescue Crews Patrol Thousands of Acres


Ninety-four percent of Yosemite National Park’s expansive 747,956 acres is considered wilderness.

The park’s Search and Rescue crews patrol the entire landscape, working to keep visitors safe.

“We do have a world-class rescue team,” Chris Leonardi, a ranger for Yosemite’s preventive search and rescue team, told FOX40.

Leonardi believes the park’s picturesque beauty is something to behold – but warns visitors to beware.

“Shortcuts in Yosemite often lead to mishaps and adventures that you weren’t expecting,” he said.

In 2013, search crews were sent out on 184 rescue operations. On average, $365,000 is spent saving the lives of visitors every year.

“Our crews are very skilled in technical knowledge and have wonderful response capabilities,” Leonardi said.

But tragedies still happen within the park’s perimeter. Fifteen people died inside Yosemite National Park in 2013.

“It’s one of the things that scares me the most,” Tiffany Safronoff said.

Safronoff, an avid hiker, has seen countless people putting themselves in risky rescue situations, so she speaks up.

“I would never hesitate, if I see someone in an unsafe area, even if I don’t know them, to walk up and just remind them, it’s worth a life,” she said.

Katie Hackett contributed to this report.