One of the quietest SAR members can often be found in back of OES busying himself in the storage containers. While Medical Corporal Antoine Snijders may keep a low profile, he takes his work seriously. “I try to keep our team mission-ready by keeping the medical packs in good shape,” he says.
Antoine joined the team in winter 2010. He says he finds the prospect of helping others in need “truly inspiring,” and SAR offers the rare opportunity to have a profound impact on other people’s lives.
He also joined, he says, because he has an adventurous side. Studious, too, apparently. The Netherlands native studied biomedical sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam, did further studies in cancer research at UCSF, then earned a doctoral degree in genetics and molecular biology from the University of Utrecht. After completing postdoctoral work at UCSF, he was hired on at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he now studies health risks of low doses of ionizing radiation.
Between his job, his family (he lives with his wife and young daughter and toddler son in Antioch), earning his American citizenship (this year) and his dedication to SAR, Antoine has little time for play. But if he finds a few moments, he will work in the yard, go for a run, or operate his amateur radio.
The 2011 Mendocino search left a hefty impression on Antoine. He says, quoting John “Hannibal” Smith of the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.” All the days of work by many SAR teams culminated in finding the subject and Antoine says, “It was a truly humbling experience. I was thankful for the positive outcome and proud to be part of this great organization.”
Antoine is enthusiastic in his appreciation for the members of CoCo SAR. “It’s an honor to serve with all of you, and I hope to do so for many years to come.”
His teammates hope he does, too.