In Garfield County, your outdoor rescuer might be your Realtor |

In Garfield County, your outdoor rescuer might be your Realtor

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photoFrom front to back: Tom Ice, James Harris and Rob Dunn navigate out of East Divide Creek during a Garfield County Search and Rescue training mission last week. The three members camped out overnight away from the basecamp so the rest of the team could work their search dogs to find them in the morning.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado They are all around us. They live among us. And if you spend any amount of time in the great outdoors, the Garfield County Search and Rescue Team will be there when you need it the most. Rain or shine, day or night.You may not have guessed that Dave Pruett of Rifle is the president of the GarCo S&R team. His day job as a residential real estate appraiser keeps him busy most of the time. But hes constantly on-call, ever waiting for the Garfield County Sheriffs Office to request search and rescue services.When a call comes in its typically a 911 call passed through the Sheriffs Office, Pruett said. If it warrants a search and rescue, the sheriffs office is liable whenever we go out the door, so they make sure its a legit reason.The 40-person search and rescue team is an all-volunteer group of residents, ranging in age from 20 to 70-years-old. They practice frequently and are required to have four training courses and four missions each year, on top of CPR, first aid and Sartech II certifications from the National Association for Search and Rescue.And they do it so that others may live.We cant not rescue people when they need it, Pruett said. Search and (body) recovery is the part of it that we would rather not do.The volunteers are not paid for their time. The Garfield County crew may see about 40 call outs a year, Pruett said. The cost of which are incurred by the sheriffs office. But another way the state helps cover costs is through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card or CORSAR card.We oppose people being charged for services, Pruett said. If we charged people, then maybe now we are going up and retrieving a body instead. Wed rather they call and well go get them.But the addition of the CORSAR card in 1987 is pretty much a guaranteed reimbursement for the county sheriffs offices around the state. According to Pruett, most counties dont request reimbursement through CORSAR unless its a big operation.And most folks in Garfield County already pay into the fund by purchasing a fishing or hunting license, register an all-terrain vehicle, boat or snowmobile. But if you are one of the few that dont do any of the aforementioned, and maybe just enjoy hiking, which doesnt require permits or licenses, the CORSAR is available for individual purchase at most outdoor or variety stores such as Wal-Mart.Jenn Nederman, a sales associate at Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs said that the interest isnt huge for the CORSAR, but she expects it to pick up as the summer season continues.Its not been a big thing yet this year, she said. But it typically begins to sell more starting in June and July when more people are out hiking.The card only costs $3 for a year, or a five-year card will run $12 for those wanting to contribute. Even if you dont, it doesnt mean that Pruett and his crew of volunteers wont come and help you out of a dangerous situation.The unique thing about our team is that we could be called out for anything, Pruett said. River rescue, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, we have to be well versed in many areas just because of our location.And theyll be there when you need them the most.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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