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Deschutes County SAR looking for volunteers


Time is running out if you are thinking about joining the Deschutes County Search and Rescue team. The deadline to apply is Friday.

Each winter, the volunteer organization takes applications to join the team.

Throughout the year, 120 volunteers will rack up thousands of hours training and helping those lost or stuck in the back country.

The team is one of the busiest in Oregon.

“I just love being out there and seeing them when they look up at youm and I can help them and get them out of there,” SAR member Mary Vanhilten said Wednesday evening.

Vanhilten has been on the team for seven years and says the group is like her second family. She says it’s a big time commitment, but it’s worth it in the end.

“She came up and gave me this huge hug, and that was hard, but it was also very memorable,” Vanhilten said.

“I wanted to do something to give back to my community,” SAR member Kelly Patrick said. “I wanted to do something that I enjoy, which was being outside.”

Their passion for wanting to help their community and love of the outdoors is what the organization is looking for.

Search and Rescue Coordinator Scott Shelton says they try to have 120 members ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“Once you get involved with it, it is one of those kinds of occupations as a volunteer that can be so rewarding,” Shelton said. “And we have a great partnership with our volunteers and our staff.”

If you are interested in applying, CLICK HERE

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