About the HCRU

The Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit (HCRU), based in Huntsville, Alabama, is an entirely volunteer organization specializing in cave, cliff, high-angle and rough terrain search and rescue operations.

The HCRU participates in search and rescue operations throughout northern Alabama, southern Tennessee, and western Georgia, and will respond to farther destinations if requested.

The HCRU has existed since 1955, when it began to serve the community by organizing the skills of its membership in cave and wilderness rescue. The unit maintains a mobile cache of specialized equipment to support search and patient evacuation operations. Each member of the unit carries personal equipment adequate to ensure self-sufficiency in both underground and above ground environments for an extended period of time.

The HCRU is one of the best equipped and most capable units of this type in the country.

The unit conducts regular training courses in single rope technique, cave rescue,and high-angle rescue for firefighters, EMS personnel and outdoor enthusiasts, including certification-level courses accredited through the Alabama Fire College and Pro-Board . CEUs are also available for courses. Additionally, the unit holds weekly training classes for its membership to present new information on medical, SAR, and high angle techniques. Training curricula are prepared by HCRU members, a number of whom have attained Fire Instructor and Rescue Instructor status through the Alabama Fire College and/or Instructor status through the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC).

The HCRU is not an Emergency Medical Agency, although many of its members are licensed medical responders. Our focus is locating, stabilizing, and safely transporting victims to areas where normal EMS operations can be performed.

The HCRU will work work with and assist the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) with the stated goal of: Safe and successful evacuation of the patient from a hostile environment.

The HCRU is ready to assist any person or agency, within the bounds of its charter, as a public service.

HCRU Callout Information