TAHOE/TRUCKEE — The Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team is made up of 120 active volunteers. They regularly put themselves in harm’s way in order to search for a missing hiker or skier in Nevada County’s sometimes deceptively dangerous backcountry.
These dedicated volunteers put in an average of 20 to 50 hours per month, not including the required 60-plus hours of training required to become “mission-ready.” Specialty training requires an additional 40-plus hours.
On top of the training requirements, most members furnish their own equipment at an approximate expense of $1,500, depending upon what they already have. Volunteers are required to drive between 2,000 and 15,000 miles each year for search and rescue-related activities, which can cost up to $4,000 in fuel.
The team is a federally registered, 501 C3 nonprofit organization. All donations received pay for equipment, supplies and training. With the county’s budget issues, maintaining the team’s equipment cache is done so almost entirely through donations from the public, who generously support us.
We are holding a “Stuff the Pack” fundraiser. This idea came from the firefighters “Fill the Boot” fundraisers. We held a similar fundraiser in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area in June of 2011 and it was overwhelmingly successful.
The fundraiser will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Truckee at both The Gateway Center (Safeway, Rite-Aid), located at 11529 Donner Pass Road and The Crossroads Center (CVS, SaveMart), located at 11399 Deerfield Drive. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions along with the K-9s and handlers. Equipment will also be on display.
Please come out and support your search and rescue team. For information, contact me at 530-265-1713 or visit www.ncssar-nc.org.
— Corporal Bill Netherby is the search and rescue/volunteer coordinator for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office