2012 SAR Coordinator Awards

Last month we honored the SAR Members (Murphy/ Murray), Rookie (Griffith) and Explorers (Riggs twins) of the Year. Their contributions over the past year made them extremely well deserving team members. Their individual accomplishments made a major impact on the team.

As I mentioned during the Volunteer Banquet, trying to narrow recognition down to a few people is difficult given the size of the team.

The SAR team annually contributes over 40,000 hours to the mission. This means a lot of people are doing exceptional work on this team.

To try and ensure that we give proper recognition commensurate with the size of this program we have the SAR Coordinator Award. The members who receive this are chosen by the SAR Command Staff for their contributions to the success of the team over the past year.

2012 SAR Coordinator Awards:

Josh Israel, Chris Retta and Judy Apfel
These three people played a critical role as part of the SAR logistics resource this year. Along with the other dedicated members of the group, they ensured equipment was ready and deployed as needed. The best way to demonstrate the effectiveness of the logistics resource is when they are not part of the pre-event preparation, there is a distinct drop-off on our ability to be ready to respond. These three played huge roles in ensuring the academy was ready, team trainings were ready and countless other events had what they needed to be successful. Managing logistics is neverending; it’s not high profile and it’s probably not recognized enough. This group has been a huge contributor this year.

Caroline Thomas Jacobs
Caroline has been a dynamo this year taking on the role of member-at-large and redefining this position into the team ombudsman. The team ombudsman is a vital link between the membership and the Command Staff. It provides a person that the membership can rely on to answer critical questions regarding the direction of the team.
Caroline in her spare time took on the role of team training sergeant as well. She took the single biggest training of the year, the full-team medical training, and made it bigger and better than in previous years. Caroline’s hand has been involved in most of the monthly team trainings since then. Her dedication to making the team better is exemplary.

Joe Keyser
Joe has been heavily involved in the Mountain Rescue Group for the past several years. This year he took on the management and execution of the Type 1 required Wilderness Medical Responder class. This was no easy task. The curriculum had to be built from the ground up and instructors trained on the required topics. Joe took additional training to build his skills. He filled a training void on the team and ensured the Type 1 resource maintained a high level of medical training.

Steve Filippoff
Steve has been one of the leads of the USAR resource over the past few years. He is quiet and unassuming, but has been instrumental in building the USAR resource into an extremely competent and cohesive unit. His professionalism and drive to increase everyone’s competence and his drive to get better makes him stand out. And if his total dedication was not enough, he has embarked on training a K9 in SAR. His dedication to the mission is extraordinary.

Jeremiah Dees
Jeremiah has been on the team for some time. He has made his mark on the technical operations of the team. He is the lead of the USAR resource and a key technical operator in the Mountain Rescue Group. His competence and leadership have raised the technical bar in both groups. He has been able to help marry the two disciplines of USAR and mountain rescue to build both programs by making them come together. His focus on safety and his technical expertise is unmatched. His ability to communicate the direction, ensure safe operations and at the same time build competence is paying huge dividends in how our team manages technical rescue operations.

Pierce Plam
Pierce while helping others publish the monthly newsletter has now inherited the title of publisher. While many help put together the monthly newsletter, his expertise in the software to build the online newsletter is what keeps it going month after month. People don’t join the team to publish newsletters. But the newsletter is important to the team. Pierce tirelessly and with good humor continues to make this publication happen.

David Cossu and Andy Csepely
Dr.’s Cossu and Csepely are the brains behind the CP. We are fortunate to have a huge variety of technical capabilities when we run a CP. Wired networks, printers, plotters, gps downloads etc. Without their work behind the scenes to ensure it all runs smoothly, we’d still be doing everything old school. The majority of the team does not see what it takes to keep this aspect of the team running and evolving. These two individuals bring us some world-class technical expertise that sets this team apart.

Antoine Snijders, Paul Moss and Jim Gay
There is a lot of work that goes into keeping our medical equipment up to standard as well as ensuring our medical details are well staffed. These three played a variety of roles to ensure we were ready for both trainings and scheduled events. Whether it was restocking equipment, scheduling events or ensuring we have the proper staffing, this was the responsibility of these three. Their work was almost all behind the scenes but instrumental in ensuring we were ready to provide our medical services to the public.

Diane Blue
Diane for many years has been involved in the recruiting and hiring of countless SAR volunteers. She puts in a lot of hours day in and day out contacting prospective applicants, processing their paperwork and shepherding these candidates through to the academy. Her positive personality and follow-through have ensured we continue to bring in quality applicants. She’s the perfect SAR ambassador.

I’ve mentioned many times that there are many team members doing remarkable things to ensure the team’s growth and success. The above names make up only part of why this team is so amazing. But if you look at the work done by these individuals it becomes very easy to see that with-out them, this team would be much different. This team would be much smaller, much less technically competent and much less capable of helping those in need. It is no small feat. Please take a moment and thank them for their service to the mission.