"A Tribute To Search and Rescue Volunteers" Written and shared by Bill Parker.

Schatzi ABAB .jpg

“A Tribute to Search and Rescue Volunteers”
Written and shared by Bill Parker.

I wanted to say a few words about the importance of volunteers, and in particular, those who volunteer their time with Search and Rescue groups. Many of you know that both Deb and I have been involved with Search and Rescue for a number of years and have participated on numerous searches during that time. I always knew it was important work but just today, it really struck me how much of an impact it has on people. Earlier this week, I was involved with a search for an 87 year old man who had dementia and who had disappeared from his home late in the evening. His family called the police and a search was started. He was ultimately located about a mile from his house, and unfortunately, he died of exposure.

It was a sad ending, but what struck me was a statement that his daughter made in a written thank you to the volunteers who showed up for the search. She was grateful for everyone who showed up and helped to bring her father home. I thought to myself “what is no one showed up?” That family might never have been able to say their proper goodbyes to their father and grandfather. As with other searches I’ve attended, I witnessed how many people are willing to come to a search and do whatever is necessary to help find the lost person. This includes police, volunteer firemen, search and rescue personnel, and neighbors – many from great distances. They are willing to leave their comfortable home, at any time of the day or night, to work in the rain and snow, in the cold and the heat, walk up and down hills, and climb over and under trees and bramble bushes, all to help someone they usually do not know. They train for endless hours to make sure they are ready to do the right thing during a search. They come from all walks of life and many different organizations, yet they work together seamlessly for one cause – to find the lost subject. In today’s environment, where people seem to be focused only on themselves or other frivolous issues, a search operation is quite a remarkable thing and truly an example of what is right in the world.

So, I salute the volunteers of Search and Rescue (and all volunteers for that matter). They give me hope that there are still decent people in the world.

Patricia Holley