Sheriff’s group volunteers time, talents
It’s three in the morning. A frantic call comes in to the Dispatch Center from out-of-county travelers stranded in unfamiliar territory – the Newfoundland Mountains in western Box Elder County. Their vehicle is stuck in thick alkaline mud and they need help. Sheriff Lynn Yeates is quickly notified.
Yeates reviews the situation and determines a search for the marooned motorists may be required. Box Elder County Sheriff Search and Rescue team is called in. Team members, all of them volunteers, gather at their station in Brigham City and are briefed about the circumstances. They then make the three-hour trip out west to locate and retrieve the weary wanderers.
In this county, that same scenario and sometimes others with much more tragic outcomes are played out over and over, about 15 to 25 times a year. Not a lot compared to bigger counties, Yeates said, but enough to warrant keeping a full docket of Search and Rescue members ready to go at a moment’s notice. This well-trained, well-organized unit stands prepared to assist as First Responders and EMTs. They can track, climb, repel and recover.
In the past 30 days, those members have been called out five different times to assist departments in a mountain rescue, a canal crash, two separate searches for lost or overdue parties and to help with a body recovery.
Under the arm of the Sheriff’s Department, Search and Rescue has been operating in the county since 1960, when a group of jeep enthusiasts organized themselves into the Off-Highway Patrol to serve as backup to officers in cases when extra eyes, and four-wheel drive, would be needed.
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