Grand County Search and Rescue operates efficiently |

Grand County Search and Rescue operates efficiently

To the Editor:Regarding the March 25 letter County should run EMS, fire districts, search & rescue, we are not sure why Mr. Hoyt has such an issue with Grand County Search and Rescue. He holds us out as a model of public inefficiency, insinuates that we are a duplication of resources and services and that we are spending tax dollars willy-nilly on pork barrel projects while promoting our personal fiefdom. Grand County Search and Rescue is an all-volunteer team that responds to about 50 backcountry emergencies annually. We will receive $15,000 this year in tax dollars about $1 per county resident. The rest of our budget comes from grants and donations.We do not have access to EMS or Fire District funds. We do not, and will not, charge for our services. We have a volunteer board, no paid administrators and no paid staff. Our members provide their own personal gear and leave their families and jobs to respond when the pager goes off.We certainly do not have a giant Taj Mahal. In Grand Lake, our equipment is stored outside or in private residences, seriously affecting our response time to emergencies. We have been actively seeking a centralized location in Grand Lake in which to house our equipment, but with our limited funds this has been a huge obstacle.In Kremmling, our gear is stored in the sheep barn at the fairgrounds.Cross-training among emergency agencies is an admirable goal, but very difficult to achieve. Finding, caring for and rescuing those who are lost and hurt in the backcountry requires specialized skills, training and equipment. GCSAR members spend over 3,000 hours annually training and are accredited by the national Mountain Rescue Association in those specialized skills. The cache of rescue equipment that we have accumulated over the last 20 years is specific to the type of work that we do ropes and carabiners, litters, avalanche beacons, ice axes.GCSAR has a long-standing working relationship with the various fire districts, EMS and our parent organization, the Grand County Sheriff. We work together to save lives. We are confident that our organization is efficient, effective and accountable.PS: We are always looking for new volunteers. Interested? Give us a call.Board of DirectorsGrand County Search and Rescue

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