TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - While you are sleeping, our team of dedicated volunteers is possibly braving the elements in the middle of the night searching for a lost individual. 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, mountain biker, skier or rider in Nevada County's sometimes deceptively dangerous backcountry.
These dedicated volunteers put in an average of 20 to 50 hours per month, and that doesn't include the 60-plus hours on initial training required to become "mission-ready." Specialty training requires an additional 40-plus hours.
On top of training requirements, most members furnish their own equipment that can cost approximately $1,500, depending upon how much equipment 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 a year just in fuel costs.
The team is a federally registered, 501 C3 non-profit 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.
For these reasons, among others, we are holding the Second Annual "Stuff the Pack" Fundraiser. I would like to thank the Truckee community and visitors for their great support and overwhelming success at last year's fundraiser.
The fundraiser will be held Saturday, Feb. 16, 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. We will be at both locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be donation jars located at various local merchants starting the week prior to the event for those who wish to donate but will not be able donate on the Feb. 16.
Many volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, including the K-9s with their handlers. For those who do not know, our K-9 team is currently the largest in California. Our snow cat and other equipment will also be on display.
Please come out and support your Search and Rescue Team. For information, I can be reached at 530-265-1713, visit www.ncssar-nc.org or find our Facebook page. Donations can also be mailed to Nevada County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959.
- Corporal Bill Netherby, Nevada County Sheriff's Office, Search and Rescue/Volunteer Coordinator