The Dartmoor Rescue Group was started in 1968 in the Tavistock area when a small group of local moorland enthusiasts started helping the police with search and rescue on Dartmoor.
In due course a recognised official rescue team was formed which became affiliated to the Mountain Rescue Council. Currently the Group consists of four Search and Rescue Teams (SART) based in Ashburton, Okehampton, Tavistock and Plymouth. Each team is a separate charity and is capable of functioning independently. However the teams frequently operate together and so each team is part of the Dartmoor Rescue Group which is a separate charity and which co-ordinates common training, equipment and communications issues and is the main contact point for outside organisations.
Each team will tend to work in its own geographical area but may need to work anywhere on Dartmoor to support other Dartmoor Search and Rescue teams. Depending on the number of people who require rescuing or the area to be searched, a callout may consist of one, two or three teams and usually at least one team is kept as a back up in case of an extended operation. DRG teams provide a search and rescue service in the rest of Devon and Cornwall and may be used to support the Cornwall and the Exmoor Search and Rescue teams.