Client Profile: CMC Rescue, Inc.  - CLEO Skip to main content


CMC Rescue, based in Santa Barbara, Calif. has been producing state-of-the-art equipment for its customers for more than 30 years. The company was founded in 1978 by James Frank who at the time, sought to create a manufacturing division when they were unable to locate specialized pieces of equipment that he felt should have been available to rescuers. Frank is a search and rescue pioneer and one of the top people often involved with Santa Barbra County’s search and rescue teams. He has been an avid volunteer since the 70s and is still active today, as are several of the employees at CMC.

CMC Rescue became 92 percent employee owned in 2011. ‘After nearly five years of attempts by other companies to purchase CMC, it became evident that strategic acquirers would offer the highest share value,’ said Phillips. ‘But they would not be able to assure Jim that CMC’s operations would not be assimilated by these larger businesses – resulting in the loss of many jobs for then-current employees. Jim came to the realization that employee ownership could realistically be the only way to assure continuation of CMC with its current operations and employees.’