“Greater Palm Springs is known as a hiker’s paradise, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year and countless trails winding across the beautiful desert landscape and even up into the pine forests of the San Jacinto Mountains. Though the panoramic views only get better the higher you climb, so too, does the potential for danger. Every once in a while, the faint whirring of a helicopter’s blades passes overhead as the Coachella Valley’s go-to team of search and rescue operators saves the day.
Officially known as Palm Springs Mounted Police Search and Rescue (PSMP-SAR), the volunteer unit has performed more than 1,000 technical rescues in Palm Springs since 1949. What began as a few men riding on horseback up into the mountains to help stranded hikers in their spare time has grown into a 13-member team. (To learn more about one of the founders, Jim Maynard, see p. 80.) PSMP-SAR once served as the honor guard for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and even appeared in a 1995 episode of the national television show Rescue 911…”