Our speaker was Robert Cooper, head of urban searches of the Superstition Search and Rescue team.  He was accompanied by Roger Barrientos, head of wilderness searches, and Richard Wilson, treasurer of the organization.  
 
The SSR group has 35 members currently. Most of them have received specialized training in areas such as desert rescues, water rescues, helicopter evacuation, etc.  In the 22 years SSR has existed, no one on the team has been injured in a search or rescue operation which speaks well of the training.  They are now also a certified CERT team - Community Emergency Response Team - that can assist in dealing with natural disasters.  In 2009, they broke away from the Pinal County Sheriff's office.  
Robert brought a drone that they now can use for search operations.  It can be used for surveying areas difficult to reach on foot. The drone has a 1.3 mi range and can stay up 20-30 minutes.  It has a Go Pro camera on board that records pictures that can then be downloaded into a computer and studied. It has amazing resolution that can pick up small objects such as cell phones, cameras, canteens, etc.  
Drones are now available with FLIR technology that can look for heat-emitting objects at night.  
Robert told the story of a cold case search for a young man missing for a year near Tortilla Mountain.  They were able to find clothes scraps in lion scat that matched what he was wearing.  Later after a 2-year search, they found the man's remains in a crevice into which he had  fallen and died. 
Robert also told us about a hand- held ham radio that has line-of-sight connection to repeaters located on high spots around the state.  It costs only about $30-50 and has incredible utility for their group as well as for individual hikers and outdoorsmen.