Routt County Search and Rescue seeks new volunteers

Matt Stensland

— Routt County Search and Rescue is looking for dedicated people to join their existing team of 25 volunteers.

According to Search and Rescue, the organization is looking for people who are skilled in the outdoors and want to give back to the community. In particular this year, they want potential volunteers to have an above-average knowledge of snowmobiles, four-wheelers and motorized transportation.

“We are always looking for ways to improve, and arriving at a lost or injured party in the quickest way possible thanks to skilled riders has always been a strong aspect of our team,” Search and Rescue President Chad Bowdre said in a news release.

Applications are due by the end of June. The new probationary class of recruits will begin in August.

Recruits will be trained in rope systems for high-angle evacuations; snow safety and recovery for avalanche responses; motorized vehicles for rapid terrain response; swift water rescue; radio communications; terrain navigation by foot, snowshoe or ski; downed aircraft searches; and basic first aid and search skills.

“A rock climber with great knot skills who is not strong in the snow travel area can still be of use on a ski mission,” Training Director Delbert Bostock said. “They can still help carry gear, read maps or perform a number of tasks that are extremely important for the success of the mission.”

Joining Search and Rescue requires a significant time commitment.

Training takes place on Tuesday evenings, and occasionally, there are day-long trainings on Saturday and Sunday.

Recruits are on probationary status for six months during initial training.

To join the team, a probationary member must first train with the team for a minimum of six months, during which time they are trained and tested in skills that will be beneficial to the team. Once becoming an active member, the volunteer is given a pager and is expected to respond to at least 25 percent of the calls.

On average, Search and Rescue has about 60 missions each year. So far this year, Search and Rescue has only had eight calls.

Those interested in applying should visit People with questions can call Bowdre at 970-291-9100 or Bostock at 970-326-7850.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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