Not everyone can say they saved someone’s life at the end of the day, but members of the Larimer County Search and Rescue team can.
Although being a member of LCSAR is rewarding, it takes a lot of time, energy, and money. In addition, it is volunteer work.
“Most members spend about 400 hours working per year,” said Mike Fink, the Search Leader and Public Information Officer of LCSAR. “The volunteers buy their own equipment, which costs about $1,500.”
Each year, LCSAR affects about 6,000 people in the Rocky Mountain Region. The main purpose of the team is to rescue lost or injured people from the wilderness, but LCSAR also educates the public about outdoor safety.
The team responds to emergencies and disasters 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“If I had the time, I think working with the team would be a great experience. I’ve heard some fun things about it,” said Nickie Emerson, a sophomore human development and family studies major.
The transformation from an ordinary person to a highly trained rescue worker is a rigorous and time-consuming process. First, the volunteers learn the necessary skills during weekly training sessions from February to June. Then, the volunteers must pass certain tests and evaluations.
“Most importantly, we make sure the members are team players, have the necessary skills and can withstand adverse conditions,” Fink said.
On average, LCSAR receives about 65 calls each year. Most of them are requests to search for missing people. There are about 60 members on the team, and most are between the ages of 25 to 45. “The job is very rewarding, challenging, fun and sometimes tragic,” Fink said.
LCSAR is a non-profit organization, so it depends solely on grants, donations, and corporate support. The group became a non-profit organization in 1978 because the police department couldn’t afford to pay the members of such a large team.
“If you like the outdoors, then being a rescue worker would be a great job,” said Justin Pauls, a first year student majoring in art.
The deadline for applications is up for this year, however, applications for the following year may be submitted. You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
To request an application to work for the Laimer County Search and Rescue Team, call Catrina Mianecki at 720-341-5653. For more information about LCSAR, check out their website at www.fortnet.org/LCSAR/.