From: Jennifer Hansen, Mono County Sheriff Public Information Officer
RE: Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team Annual Awards Dinner 2012
The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to saving lives. They do searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free.
Each year, the Team honors members for their individual excellence and public service. Two annual awards are given by the Team each year to honor members who have excelled.
The team’s primary honor for achievement is the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year award. The award is named in memory of a beloved teammate who was killed in an ice climbing accident in 1996.
The Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year for 2012 is Jeff Holmquist. Jeff serves the Team as a member of the Board of Directors, and is a past President, Vice President, and Training Officer. This is the second time he has been selected by the Team for this honor. He is also one of very few honored with selection as Lifetime Members. Jeff participated in 70 team events in 2012, including 22 field missions. Since 2000, Jeff has served the County on 894 team events, including 386 rescues and searches. He has a wide variety of skills, frequently serves as Operations Leader, teaches training courses, and is one of the team’s key players in all types of missions.
New members in training are called Candidate Members, and must undergo training, practice, and testing in eighteen skill categories before being considered for advancement to Rescue Member. Examples of these skills include first aid and victim care, tracking, technical rescue, mountain navigation, helicopter operations, and skill with electronic aids such as computers, radios, avalanche transceivers, and GPS receivers. Completion of all requirements takes a lot of dedication and faithfulness over a period that is typically a year or more.
The team honors one candidate member each year with the Rick Mosher Candidate Member of the Year Award. Rick Mosher is the only team member to have died in the line of duty and was killed while searching in a small airplane that crashed during an operation on August 15, 1979.
This year the team selected Megan Guffey as the Rick Mosher Candidate Member of the Year. Megan has been very active and faithful in both her training and in rescue operations. Since beginning her training of April of 2012, she has participated in 35 Team events and 5 rescues and searches. The 2012 honorees were presented with laser engraved cherry wood plaques.