Any Santa Clarita Valley residents out there who would relish the chance to volunteer as a first-responder and help their neighbors in a time of need should check out a meeting about the volunteer-based Search and Rescue Team hosted by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials.
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The meeting is set to take place Thursday in the Community Room of the Old Town Newhall Library from 6-8 p.m., according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
“We’re always looking for new members and none of us are getting any younger,” said Tony Buttita, a 14-year member of the Sheriff’s Station’s Search and Rescue Team in a recent interview on KHTS AM-1220 show “The Neighborhood Watch.”
In his more than a dozen years with the volunteer team, Buttita has searched for a lost hiker in “white-out” snow conditions up in Big Tujunga Canyon and scoured suburban neighborhoods looking for children reported missing.
The group is department trained as Emergency Medical Technicians and in mountain search and rescue techniques, according to officials.
And the group has helped saved countless lives throughout Souther California, officials said.
“We try and publicize some of the great work they do because volunteers like (Buttita) make $1 per year for being a reserve deputy,” said Deputy Josh Dubin, mentioning the team’s site, SCVRescue.com, and the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team Facebook page. “These people all have full-time regular jobs and they’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
Members are on call by pager year-round, at all hours, for rescue operations that include: missing persons or injured/stranded hikers (cliffhangers); cars over the side of the highway; people stranded by swift water; snow and ice rescues, i.e. lost skiers and avalanche recovery; and evidence searches and downed aircraft incidents.
“The Santa Clarita Search and Rescue Team is a volunteer group formed to promote safety in the mountains and outdoor recreational areas used by the people of the community,” said Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials in a Facebook group inviting people to the meeting. “The team assists the Sheriff’s Department or any disaster agency in search and rescue work in the local outlying areas at their request.”
The volunteer team is regularly called out to serve, helping not only in the SCV, but also Crescenta Valley, Malibu and other sheriff’s stations, as well as Ventura County operations.
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Source: Santa Clarita News