YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE ANSWERS
What Is C.E.M.P.?Although C.E.M.P. has been around for over a half century, there are many in the community who have never heard of us and have no idea how we work. This is probably a good thing. If you haven’t met us, you haven’t needed us. We do the work not for pay or recognition, but because we have a true, genuine drive to give back to the community by helping people in crisis.
But how? How does it work? Who are we? Please pick a question below for some answers. And if you don’t see the answer to your specific question, by all means Contact Us anytime.
C.E.M.P. stands for California Emergency Mobile Patrol. We’re a suburban Search & Rescue team (actually the only suburban Search & Rescue team) in the city of Los Angeles. We work under the “umbrella” of the LAPD but we are not a government agency. We’re an all-volunteer, non-profit, incorporated organization made up of men and women who work full time at their jobs and then volunteer on their off time for the team.
No. Most Search & Rescue teams in the United States are not full-time paid teams. There simply isn’t a budget for it. Or a need for it. Search teams are called out only as needed and most agencies can’t justify paying groups of people to sit and wait for a call. And most county, state and local governments simply don’t have the money to employ us even on a part-time basis.
Interesting note: As the Baby Boomer generation retires and more people develop dementia, the rate of “walk offs” is guaranteed to substantially increase to an alarming rate. We feel that agencies in large cities will have no choice but to include search teams in emergency budgets.
Although not employees and not funded (we don’t even receive gasoline for our rigs), we are at the beckon call to area agencies such as the LAPD. This commitment is a great strain to us financially, as all of our funds come from donations and/or out-of-pocket expenses.
No. The fire department’s Urban Search & Rescue teams are part of the Los Angeles City (and County) Fire Departments. These guys are full time firefighters who perform search and rescue missions in burning and collapsed structures. They don’t look for missing persons.
It’s not. Our team is very versatile, however, and quite often used by the LAPD for other missions, such as lighting crime and accident scenes, evidence searches, evacuations and even traffic control at road closures.
Every potential member must submit to a background check performed by the Los Angeles Police Department, including a LiveScan fingerprinting procedure.