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What is BORSTAR?

This is a unit of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency that is tasked with and capable of responding to emergency search and rescue situations all over the country! Border Patrol Agents who are members of this highly-specialized unit are actually volunteers who go beyond their call of duty to give assistance to those in need. Most of the time, they give aid to migrants who try to cross the borders illegally and end up getting injured because of the dangerous terrain which can also be home to wild animals. Other illegal aliens also need rescuing because they are suffering from dehydration or hunger after they have run out of food and water supply.BORSTAR stands for Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue.

BORSTAR agents also respond to distress calls from fellow Border Patrol Agents, residents, and visitors who find themselves in need of help when in the border regions. More often than not, they are the only rescue unit available in these border areas.  Highly-trained BORSTAR members perform heroic rescues in various types of environments and often inhospitable climates. They have been called upon to help perform rescues in treacherous mountains and bodies of water. They also respond even when the weather is freezing cold or blisteringly hot. Rescue operations can be quick—that is, they last for only a few minutes or a few hours. But they can also be prolonged—sometimes for days or even weeks.

Although voluntary, it is not easy to become a BORSTAR agent. First of all, you need to be a full-fledged Border Patrol Agent for two years before you can be considered. All applicants must also go through and application and selection process before they can be selected to attend the BORSTAR Academy.

If you do make it as one of the individuals selected for training, expect to go through a rigorous and demanding five week course which will test your physical and mental limits. You will be given instruction on search and rescue techniques and related skills, tactical medicine, technical rescue, land navigation, communication, swiftwater rescue, and air operations. You will be taught to value the most important knowledge that all BORSTAR agents share— teamwork.

After basic academy training, all BORSTAR agents have to go through an emergency medical technician course. This is mandatory so that all agents get certified as Basic Emergency Medical Technicians. If you so wish, you can get additional specialized training afterwards. You can train to become a paramedic, police safety diver, rescue watercraft/boat operator, and coldweather operations.  

BORSTAR agents can be assigned in any of the local BORSTAR teams at each Southwest Border Sector. The national headquarters of the BORSTAR is in El Paso, Texas. 

BORSTAR agents are compassionate and perform a valiant and valuable service to both our country and mankind. If you want to be a part, we encourage you to join!

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