Wasatch County looking for search and rescue volunteers
If you love being outdoors and giving back to the community, you might be a good candidate to join Wasatch County’s Search and Rescue team. There are a few openings for volunteers and time is running out; the deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 31.
When asked what a typical week looks like for a search and rescue volunteer, Wasatch County Search and Rescue Commander Kam Kohler responded with a laugh.
"There's no such thing as a typical week, because every call is different. We may go a couple of weeks without being called out. And then we go four or five in a week," he said.
In one search operation, "somebody's injured, and it takes an hour and a half and you're done," Kohler said. "And you may go out on the next call, and you may be on the mountain for 24 hours.”
There are four openings in the 36-member volunteer squad. Kohler said there are many factors that can boost an applicant's candidacy. Having an avalanche certification or first aid skills can help, for instance. Being an avid snowmobiler is also a plus. But there’s one requirement for the job that is absolutely non-negotiable.
"They've got to be a resident of Wasatch County," he said. "In an emergency, we can't afford to wait for somebody to drive in from out of town when somebody's in trouble."
Kohler said having flexible employment is also pretty essential.
“The people that are successful in search and rescue, they own their own business, or they have a very understanding boss," he said. "If you have a career situation where you've got your two weeks of vacation a year, you're probably not going to make a good candidate for search and rescue.”
Kohler said the response to his call for applications has been positive. He said he's anxious to start interviews so he can get the positions filled and begin “rookie" training.
"Over the next 12 months, they'll get a lot of training in regards to search and rescue in every type of environment," he said.
Kohler said interested candidates should reach out to the Wasatch County personnel office, or email him at Kam.Kohler@wasatchSAR.org.