Emergency Services Division

General Information

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Division is responsible for supporting the statutory requirements of the Sheriff’s Office as it relates to wildland fire, which includes coordinating and insuring forest and prairie fire responses. The Sheriff’s Office is also responsible for fire investigations in the unincorporated areas of El Paso County, providing for Search and Rescue, assisting with the counties Hazardous Materials Response Team.  We are also actively engaged in providing planning, preparation, and training for any emergency or disaster that affects the County. The El Paso County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)  is also supported by Sheriff’s office personnel, as well as several of our affiliated volunteer teams.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Preparedness Program Manager is assigned to the Emergency Services Division and serves as an emergency management liaison to the El Paso County Office of Emergency Management and other internal and external partners within El Paso County, neighboring counties, and DoD.


The Mobile Communications and Command Unit supports Sheriff’s Office emergency response for Special Operations, Investigations, Firefighting, Search and Rescue, and special events.


The El Paso Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Division has recently established a Citizens’ Advisory Committee. This Committee is made up of local leaders, small business owners, professionals, fire, police, communication experts, and interested citizens who have an interest in providing feedback to the needs of the County through the Emergency Services Division. Numerous topics will be discussed covering all avenues of where performance and improvements can be made to the Emergency Services Division in order to serve the citizens of El Paso County better.

Fire investigators for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office are currently assigned to the Emergency Services Division under the direction of Fire Marshal John Padgett. With the passage of the public safety tax in 2012, the Sheriff’s Office was able to add a second full-time position, bringing the number full-time investigators to two. Our investigators have a variety of experience and backgrounds including law enforcement, hazardous materials, and firefighting.

The El Paso County Search and Rescue is a Mountain Search and Rescue Unit dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue and mountain safety education. The Team is comprised of volunteers and is available upon request for help with mountain searching rescue anywhere in Colorado under the authority of the local County Sheriff, or in other states and countries under local authority. The team is able to search for downed aircraft and lost people by tracing the location of the aircraft’s emergency location transmitter, as well as personal locator beacons. The members, numbering over 70 strong, serving a variety of roles are working toward a single goal; saving lives. There is never a charge for Search and Rescue services and they are on call year round.  They typically accept applications during last quarter of the year for consideration for the next year’s new member class.

The El Paso County Wildland Fire Crew is predominantly an all volunteer team comprised of citizens from El Paso County and the surrounding area dedicated to saving lives and property, that are affected by fire. The crew members come from all walks of life to assist in these endeavors.