Beaverhead Search and Rescue News
Submitted by: Mel Rice, Public Relations Officer
The Beaverhead County Search and Rescue monthly meeting was held on January 5. The meeting was called to order by commander Lawrence Morrisroe at 7:08 PM with 27 members in attendance. Mick Paffhausen was introduced to the members as an approved probationary member. Adam Norlander was introduced as a guest and he indicated his interest in becoming a member of the organization.
There were no searches/rescues during the month of December. Commander Morrisroe informed the unit there were 12 searches/rescues during the year 2021. This number is the same as year 2020. In recapping the involvement of the unit during 2021, Lawrence stated the average duration of a search/rescue was 5 hours 25 minutes. The search areas were an average distance of 30 miles from the Search and Rescue building. The average membership attendance per search was 22% or 12 members. It was also interesting to note that 34 of the 55 members participated in one or more of the searches/rescues.
The unit has a new piece of equipment called a GARC. This machine is a water craft that can be used on big open water like Clark Canyon or used on rivers for swift water searches, rescues, or recoveries. Member Tommy Goins drove to Spokane, Washington to pick up a new trailer for transporting the GARC. The machine is like a large 6 man Jet Ski. You can go on line and search GARC and take a look at this life saving piece of equipment.
Brad Wagner, communications officer, informed the membership of the status of our new radios and updated the unit on other communication projects that are on-going. Working on mobile radios, portable radios, repeaters, and any other pieces of communication equipment is very time consuming and tedious. Brad has been very diligent in keeping our communication equipment up and running and figuring out what new types of equipment and placement of that equipment will benefit the unit’s members when working out in the field. Communication is the very most important part of any search/rescue operation. Brad is one of the unit’s unsung heroes. When you see Brad out and about please thank him for all he does to keep your S&R up and running. He is very instrumental in the operation of the unit.
Another important member of the team is training officer, Nathan Freeman. Nathan informed the members of trainings that are ongoing and new experiences that are coming up. Rope teams are continuing with ongoing training. He is trying to get a professional search manager in to do a group training; on January 6th there was a joint water rescue training at the YMCA sponsored by Ruby Valley S&R; Nathan is considering doing quick hit training on weekends so members can familiarize themselves with equipment they either haven’t seen or used; and member Alex Dunn will be doing avalanche training which will include classroom work and field work.
The Unit’s annual Stan Shafer Memorial Ice Fishing Derby will be held at Clark Canyon Dam on the 16th of January. There are lots of prizes to be given away and lots of money to be earned out on the ice by catching the biggest trout and ling. There is also a contest with monetary payouts for kids 12 and under. Come join the fun. It is supposed to be a wonderful day.
The last order of business was the election of officers for 2022. Here is a list of the new officers for your Beaverhead Search and Rescue:
· Commander: Lawrence Morrisroe
· Vice Commander: Dusty Crowe
· Secretary: Kolby Malesich
· Co-Treasure: Brian Vinson, Clint Rouse
· Communications: Brad Wagner
· Equipment: Evan Helle
· Public Relations: Mel Rice
· Training: Nathan Freeman
· Board of Directors: Cody Schnee, Trent Cottom, Mike Clark
Please congratulate each of these officers. Their jobs can be thankless and a lot of work but are also very rewarding at the same time. Meeting adjourned at 8:20. Your Beaverhead Search and Rescue: “In the Business of Saving Lives”.