Helping the helpers

Support Search and Rescue at annual fund-raiser

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As members of Routt County Search and Rescue lifted a broken Brian McFadden from the bottom of Fish Creek Falls this summer, everyone was grateful for the ropes training they had received earlier in the year.

"They used a complex rope rescue to get him out, because he was too weak to get out on his own," said Search and Rescue member Jo Richards. "They used a horizontal rope system to move him to the bridge and a raising system to lift him onto the bridge.

"We have training for ropes, but there is not a lot of use for high-rope rescue in this area."

Despite that it is rarely used, all Search and Rescue members receive ropes rescue training, including pre-emptive training at places such as King Solomon Falls, where people are likely to get hurt.

Routt County Search and Rescue has the money for such obscure forms of rescue training in part because of its annual fund-raiser. Last year, ticket sales for the dinner and bids for auctioned items raised $12,000 for the organization.

"It's a small fund-raiser relative to some, but it's our largest fund-raiser," said Richards, who is helping to organize the event. "With a lot of federal money being reallocated to homeland security, we are finding other ways."

A buffet-style dinner begins at 6 p.m., followed by a silent auction and live entertainment. Auction items include Mountain Hardware clothing, bike equipment donated by Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots and several gift certificates donated by area restaurants. All items are priced between $25 and $200.

The Search and Rescue fund-raiser is also a good place to buy a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card. Money generated from the CORSAR card goes to the Colorado Search and Rescue Fund, which then provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during search and rescue missions of card holders. Cards cost $3 for one year and $12 for five years.

This is the ninth year for the Search and Rescue fund-raiser. Money raised will be used for training and equipment, including training for a dog search team. Routt County is now served by two certified Search and Rescue dogs and has three dogs in training.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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