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TOPIC: County search-and-rescue squad
OUR VIEW: Volunteers step forward
Rineyville Fire Department Chief Shane Crutcher isn’t saying formation of a search-and-rescue squad in Hardin County will always lead to cheerful reunions.
But it certainly will help.
When Pam Brown of Radcliff was found dead on Dec. 26, 2010, just off Rineyville School Road in a snow-covered area, it raised interest in the need to have a unit devoted solely to search and rescue. Crutcher called that incident “eye-opening.”
Crutcher pitched the idea recently to anyone who wanted to listen and it was met with overwhelming interest. About 60 people attended an initial meeting Monday and around 50 people applied to become part of the search-and-rescue group.
What was impressive, and maybe it shouldn’t be given the quality of people and life we have here, was the majority of individuals who attended the meeting had absolutely no emergency service affiliation in Hardin County.
There were a lot of people there wanting to help meet a need.
The unit will not be affiliated with the county’s fire departments and is another outlet to keep our growing county safe and covered in case there are emergency call outs for a search or rescue. The group’s purpose is to search for lost, missing or impaired residents, Crutcher said.
The team basically will serve as a free agent and will have contractual agreements with agencies. Crutcher says the group by no means will be “a first-call resource or self dispatched.”
When needed, members will be contacted by phone, text message or email to go to work.
To be recognized as a search-and-rescue team, a minimum of 12 members must be in place, Hardin County Emergency Management Director David Underwood said.
You never know the value of a group like this one until you are the one in need. With Crutcher’s leadership, the process of shaping such a unit is taking place.
The process continues next month when a basic search-and-rescue class will be taught. On Nov. 28, the group’s second meeting will be held as the steps continue to officially establish the squad.
Hardin County residents will be better for having a squad like this one to help when in desperate times of need.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.