cmc_founders_youngIn 1978, search and rescue team member Jim Frank recognized the need for a better source of highly specialized emergency equipment for rescue professionals. At the time, most gear available was designed for sport climbing and caving, and rescue harnesses didn’t exist.

A veteran climber, Jim knew when rescuers were required to be on rope and lives were on the line, their equipment needed to be strong and secure to support the weight of a victim, the rescuers and all their gear. Drawing on his background in engineering and a strong desire to fill this equipment gap, he responded and soon thereafter, CMC was established in Santa Barbara, California.

Originally doing business as the California Mountain Company, Jim and a small, dedicated crew began focusing resources on equipment for mountain rescue operations. As the market expanded and technology evolved, so did CMC and in 1982, the company established its own manufacturing division. Adhering to rigorous design standards, exacting specifications and quality inspections, today skilled workers continue to carefully hand-craft CMC Rescue’s harnesses, straps, packs and belts at the company’s ISO-certified facility. The breadth of its product-line now exceeds 800 trusted items, including equipment for rescue operations, patient care and transportation, personal gear, auxiliary equipment, anchor devices, rope, web, bags and packs, and more.

As CMC Rescue’s success and reputation grew, federal, state and local agencies began regularly contacting the company for technical advice and expertise. It seemed only natural then that the company would begin sharing its knowledge more broadly. The CMC Rescue School also began in 1982 with the development of one of the first training curriculums aimed at teaching mountain rescue skills to the fire service and other emergency responders. Employing some of the industry’s most experienced rescue professionals, the CMC Rescue School is recognized worldwide for its effective hands-on training and emphasis on learn by doing. In addition to its open enrollment classes offered year-round at various locations across the United States, specialized on-site contract classes, tailored to meet specific customer needs are also available. Since its beginning, CMC Rescue has published comprehensive manuals and field guides on Rope Rescue and Confined Space Entry & Rescue, and in 2011 released its Rescue Field Guide App for Android and iOS devices.


Today, CMC Rescue, Inc. is an employee-owned company that’s garnered a strong and loyal following among its users. Globally recognized as a leading manufacturer of rescue and work-at-height equipment, its employee-owners are loyal believers too. Company founder Jim Frank remains active with standards development, product design and training, while nearly 10 percent of the company’s 75+ staff actively serve as rescue team volunteers in their local communities. CMC Rescue employee-owners share a pride in product quality, value and workmanship, but above all, service to rescue workers striving to save a life.

CMC Rescue – Quality Policy

Earn the trust and loyalty of professionals working in high risk environments by providing life safety products and services of uncompromised quality through innovative product design and testing, development of well trained staff, and continual process improvement.

“Ganando la confianza y la lealtad de los profesionales que trabajan en altura y rescate, comprometidos con la major calidad, proveendo productos para salvar vidas, innovando nuevos diseños con exhaustivas pruebas de seguridad, entrenando a nuestro personal y continuando con el mejoramiento constante de nuestros productos y servicios.”