Team Commendations, December

Member Recognition

Natalie Zensius
As a new team member and graduate of this fall's Academy, Natalie wasted no time in stepping up to assume an important role. When it became necessary for other staff members to fill in to produce several issues of the Callout, Natalie volunteered her services right away. She immediately took a lead role in the production of the newsletter, which involved many hours of work. She also came up with valuable insights and objectives for future issues and has shown great enthusiasm and capabilities for the task. The Command Staff recognizes her excellent work.

Jim Gay
Jim recently completed two years as SAR's medical sergeant.  Former medical sergeants will attest to the difficulty of the job, which can often be unrecognized and thankless. It not only requires coordinating important medical details throughout the year, but also the need to maintain SAR medical equipment in a state of mission readiness. The Command Staff thanks Jim for his tenure in this role.

Team Commendations, November

Member Recognition

Larry Fong, John Banuelos and Ed Griffith were selected  for member recognition for their outstanding leadership, organization, and direction for the recent Type 3, Type 2, and UNO trainings. It was another successful academy and they each dedicated a tremendous number of long hours and energy to ensure our team has the best students and proctors around.


Chris Poppett, Josh Israel, Chris Retta, and Judi Apfel were selected for their tremendous work with the Logistic Resource. In October there seemed hardly a night when one or all of them was not at OES setting up or breaking down for some SAR event or training. In addition, they performed a lot of logistic work outside the SAR Team as well. Logistics is a terrific team and we appreciate all the behind-the-scenes work they do.


Captain's Commendation

Jeremiah Kost and John Banuelos were awarded Captain's Commendations for their response to and participation in two out-of-county Type 1 searches and one in-county Hasty callout  within the same week. The dedication and spirit of community service was overwhelmingly demonstrated by their actions and we thank them so being such an example for our Team.


Team Commendations, October

Caroline Thomas Jacobs was chosen for member recognition for the month of October.  As our team’s ombudsman, Caroline has done a super job as the team’s representative on the Command Staff.  She has marketed her responsibilities to the team, collected their feedback, represented their requests and questions to the Command Staff, and communicated back to the team.  She has put systems in place to collect feedback, and written articles for The Callout to communicate with the team.  She has raised the level of effectiveness of the position many times over what it has been in the past. Thank you Caroline for your ingenuity and hard work!

Team Commendations, September

Members of the Month-
Sam Barley for his work as the New Members Corporal. Sam stealthily worked in the background but he connected with all applicants, arranged for them to attend team trainings, and then shepherded them throughout the process. Sam did a great job of making the applicants feel welcome and excited about the team.






Pierce Plam for his work on the Callout.Pierce came up with the idea to transfer the Callout to WordPress, helped to set it up, and purchased a domain name. Last month he put the entire issue together in Mark Wilfer’s absence. He has volunteered to do so until Mark Wilfer is available.




Ileane Mankins for her sweat and tears given to create the new fundraising T-shirts. She is responsible for the all the legwork and negotiations that produced the new fund raising t-shirts. Ileane is acknowledged as the one person put in the most sweat and pushed the project to closure. Stated in the nomination, – If it weren’t for Ileane we would still be saying “we should make those t-shirts, we’ve been talking about.”–




Captain’s Commendations
Diane Blue and Wilma Murray will receive Captain Commendations for their hours of work that resulted in 40 students for the 2012 Academy. 
Both individuals spent endless hours in setting up Orientations for interested citizens, processing the applications, getting the Oral Boards staffed and completed, and finally delivering the best of the best to the 2012 Academy. At times people thought they were part of the OES staff given all the time they spent there.

Team Commendations, August

Joe Keyser seems to be everywhere these days, and among other things has been doing outstanding work with the Mountain Rescue Group (MRG). Joe is currently the lead instructor for the Wilderness First Responder medical class that started July 31st. He also recently led a group of Type I candidates on a wilderness trip to achieve their Advanced Back Packing Certification. The training included a high-altitude component. Overall, the MRG has greatly benefitted from Joe's management and leadership as the Training Corporal.




There is a trend here, with Tim Murphy and Steve Filippoff…




  ….selected again for recognition in August, even though they were each independently recognized earlier this year. Their continued hard work and dedication deserves additional praise. Together they organized the July full-team training to review swiftwater operations. In attendance were 105 team members and 12 proctors. The overwhelming feedback from participants indicated the training was well organized and did an effective job of teaching water safety and water rescue skills.


Team Commendations, July

Michael Cummings was selected for his outstanding work improving and coordinating the team's radio communications equipment. Captain Kovar said Michael's work has been “stellar” in improving our ability to communicate in the field by ensuring existing equipment is fully utilized, and by extending our infrastructure with new technologies. Michael has attended and represented the team in several County and State conferences, and has been instrumental in setting up the team's repeater, the cell phone tower, and other communications devices.




Natalie Gore was selected for her outstanding effort and leadership during the June full-team training at the Bear Creek Staging Area in Briones Regional Park. Putting on a team training involves a tremendous amount of effort and responsibility. Natalie took on the challenge, planning and organizing the event over many, many hours. The result was an outstanding team training with challenging logistical coordination involving more than half a dozen role players.

Team Commendations, June

Tim Murphy (left) and Ed Griffith were both chosen to be recognized in June for their extraordinary effort in the setup and breakdown of equipment needed to support the County Fair. There were many team members who volunteered their time—and all team members who worked the different shifts are appreciated—but Tim and Ed stood out. Both helped ensure everything was properly in place on Wednesday, the day before the Fair opened, making many trips back and forth to OES and the fairgrounds. When it came time to break things down Sunday night, they stayed late past midnight, even returning to OES on Monday to further rehab equipment. Tim and Ed went above and beyond with exceptional contributions that helped make medical support during the fair a smooth and efficient operation.

Team Commendations, May

Ed Molascon was recognized for his outstanding work as one of the leads for the recent Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) class. Ed handled all the admin duties in addition to being an instructor/proctor. Captain Kovar called Ed “a constant in the class,” who was there to ensure everything got handled properly.


David Cossu was also recognized for having spent hours solving a long-standing issue with network communications in several of the team's most critical search tools: computers, printers, and internet hook-ups in the vehicles. The solution and professional networking schematic he produced were most impressive.

Team Commendations, April

Steve Filippoff was selected by the Command Staff for member recognition in April. Steve's excellent organization skills, time management, and leadership during the team training on March 10th resulted in an exceptional opportunity for learning important new USAR skills. In addition to Steve's outstanding work organizing the recent training, his day-to-day contributions to the USAR Resource were also recognized.

Excellent work, Steve!


Team Commendations, March


Micheal and Casey Riggs are Explorers, and at the very young age of 15 have captured the spirit of community service. In their first year on the team, both Micheal and Casey have participated in many trainings, and volunteered for many support roles—in addition to their regular attendance at team meetings. They have helped at several public relations events, promoting SAR by speaking at schools and safety fairs. Not stopping there, they have participated as role players at many of the medical trainings.

Micheal and Casey have logged the most hours of any of the Explorers, and have attended nearly every full-team training over the past year. Most importantly, you will find Micheal and Casey always with a smile and an offer to help with whatever needs to be done

Jamie Cole was chosen to be recognized for his continued service to the Logistics Division on Logistics Night, as well as his ongoing support in the field. Jamie has been there every night, whether it required five minutes of work or five hours. He also has a great let’s-get-it-done attitude that fits right in with the rest of the logistics crew. Jamie is a very hard worker who always looks for the next task necessary to keep the team mission-ready. He consistently offers to help on searches and trainings, staying without complaint until the work is done. Logistics Lieutenant Chris Poppett says he is very proud to have Jamie on the team, helping so unselfishly to support our ongoing logistical needs.