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County Search and Rescue Team recognized for quick response

By Kayleigh Rahn
Twelve team members of the Douglas County Search and Rescue team were recognized Thursday, May 17 for their speedy response that ultimately saved a life.

Douglas County EMA Coordinator and coroner Joseph Victor said the volunteer crew was activated Thursday, April 26 when a rural Arcola resident wondered from her home.

Forty minutes after the Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies arrived to the home, the search and rescue team was on scene.

Seventh-three minutes the missing person was discovered on her property.

“They found her pulseless and nonbreathing near the garage,” Victor explained. “The search and rescue team and the officers on scene began CPR and when she left the scene she had a pulse and was breathing. All CPR trained, they were able to begin CPR and bring her back to a point of recovery.”

EMA office administrator Chana Ray and Victor were in Springfield at a conference at the time of the search and recovery, so they were unable to assist the volunteer team.

“It was good knowing that our team came together and was successful even while we were in Springfield,” Ray said.

County Board Chairman Don Munson recognized the volunteers for their quick response and action to save a life, Victor explained.

This team has been active in Douglas County for about 20 years and includes about 18 active volunteers, Victor said.

“They are all volunteers; they maintain their own equipment; they maintain their own supplies; they donate their time,” he said. “These are guys that train once per month to do nothing but look for missing individuals. Missing individuals are those who walk away from home due to confusion, another medical condition, or they lost–children or adults.”

The team includes people with various professional backgrounds–engineering, IT, law, pastors, and agriculture among others with a variety of skills.

“We need people who are able to walk in all types of terrain,” Victor said, “just as we need people with communication skills who are able to be present in mobile command post, sign people in, and help coordinator the search effort.”

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, May 23 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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