You see the true value of volunteer groups and many organizations in our communities when they are pressed into service.

One of them is TRACER, a local Tech­nical Rope and Cave Emergency Response team. Their value is immense when called on to save humans or animals from grave situations.

A recent recovery of a young calf from a Meade County sinkhole is further proof we are fortunate to live in an area to have talented volunteers with immense capabilities to rescue at a moment’s notice.

The calf plunged about 50 feet into a sinkhole and had only one way out — to go up.

TRACER Team Lead­er Mike Wheeler and other volunteers came to the rescue, much like the group did in 2006 to get a horse named Ruby out of a 28-foot cave off Battle Training Road.

The challenges they face are not for everyone. They are trained to handle the most difficult of situations.

The response team was contacted by the Meade County Fire Department and they went to work to get the calf back to freedom.

TRACER assembled a mechanical advantage rope system to lower a rescuer into place to make the lift. Within about 30 minutes from the time the first responder went into the hole, the calf was out and safe.

TRACER, which was established in the 1980s in Hardin and LaRue counties, is a small volunteer nonprofit group that receives no money other than donations to operate. There’s always a need for more equipment to aid rescues and keep volunteers safe.

And as part of their affiliation with the Rad­cliff Fire Department, TRACER also supports RFD’s response to confined space, structure collapse and trench rescue operations.

What an incredible asset it is to have a capable group of volunteers to help in life-and-death situations just a phone call away.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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