Search and Rescue team members respond as emergencies happen in the rugged mountains, over the dusty trails or on the waters of Iron County, Utah.
“These are people that are very dedicated to the public…to make sure that loved ones are safe,” said Iron County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Del Schlosser. “No matter what time of day or night, weather conditions – doesn’t matter, they will go out.”
SAR team members generally have an expansive knowledge of the area they search as many have lived in the community for their entire life. Experience in the backcountry, on the trails and with medical situations are traits SAR teams desire as they have to be ready for any emergency.
Some of the incidents that SAR teams train for include missing persons, off-road vehicle accidents or someone stuck on a cliff with no way to get down. Specialized equipment is needed for some technical rescues and each SAR team member provides that for themselves.
“None of our SAR is paid, they are strictly volunteers,” Lt. Schlosser said. “They’re taking the day off from work to be here…they’re giving up money out of their pockets to search for somebody.”
The late October search for a missing elderly woman brought about 30 SAR team members on one search day. According to the spokesperson, nearly 120 people on Sunday, Oct. 27 came out to help search the vast area she could have wandered into. The search and rescue turned into a search and recovery utilizing SAR associated K9 teams and SUU Aviation aircraft.
Even with proper planning for an adventure something can go wrong. SAR team members recommend that before going out to enjoy wilderness activities, share the plan with someone who will be expecting your return.
Story by: Ben Pollchik
Photo by: Ben Pollchik