The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol serves the East Bay Regional Park District, located in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties on the east side of San Francisco Bay in California. The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest local (below the state level) park and open space system in the United States, containing about 65 park properties covering over 114,000 acres. The District includes over 1,200 miles of trails within its parks and many additional miles of regional trails that connect parks and communities. These trails include multiple-use (bicycle / equestrian / pedestrian) trails and trails designed for use by visitors with limited mobility. [ See a list of District parklands and regional trails. ]
The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol comprises five patrol groups: the Volunteer Mounted Patrol, the Volunteer Bicycle Patrol, the Volunteer Hiking Patrol, the Companion Dog Patrol, and the Volunteer Marine Safety Unit. [ Read more about each of our patrol groups ] Members belong to patrol groups according to their means of travel and their animal companions, but all have the same responsibilities, and members of several patrol groups often work side by side. While on duty, each Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol member wears designated identifying clothing and carries a District volunteer photo ID card. Many also carry District two-way radios.
Responsibilities of the Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol include:
Any member of the Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol may also participate in the District's Search and Rescue (SAR) unit, whose responsibilities include searching for missing persons, assisting in the rescue of injured persons, and preserving the integrity of accident or crime evidence.
Each patrol group has its own volunteer leadership but operates, through a Volunteer Coordinator, under the auspices of the Operations Division of the District's Police Department. The Operations Division also includes police volunteer liaison officers under the Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) and the department's Helicopter Unit. The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol also works closely with the District's Fire Department, which like the Police Department is within the District's Public Safety Department.