They can find you high or low. With tactical airway searches, or a swift water rescue, the Butte County Search and Rescue team can handle the job. And Saturday they celebrated 50 years of helping those in peril. " We brought all of our equipment out, we're having a great lunch and we're just letting the public see who we are and what we do", said Butte County Search and Rescue volunteer Dennis Schmidt.
The team is made up of 35 volunteer members, most of whom where on hand providing simulated demonstrations. And it's demonstrations and training that help prepare members for the hundred rescues they go on a year, like a swift water rescue near Polga in the Feather River, or an air rescue at a frisbee golf course in upper park just last weekend. " Whether it be over the edge rescues, or helicopter rescues, or a swift water rescue, it takes years of training to get people to the point to where they can do a good job", said Schmidt.
Senator Doug LaMalfa also stopped by to present the team with a resolution from the California State Senate and thanked them for their years of service. " A lot of volunteers and folks here helped out over the years, and so it's a great moment to just take some time and tell them we appreciate them in what they do", said LaMalfa.
And the search and rescue team members sent LaMalfa off with a message of their own. " They told me... Now when you go down to Sacramento, we want you to search for money, and rescue the tax payers for us", explained LaMalfa.
Each search and rescue member spends an average of 400 hours per year helping save lives. And members say with 50 years under their belt, they hope the next half a century will be just as successful. " 50 years is a longtime, we've been helping people and doing pretty amazing things for 50 years", said Schmidt.