Searcher Spotlight: Laura Carmody

She lives with Marty, Keira, Yoshi and Tim in Antioch, but that’s a small family compared to the one Laura Carmody grew up with. One of 12 kids raised in Manhattan Beach in Southern California, Laura is used to a mob, so four roommates is a breeze. And of her current in-house family, only one of them – her fiancé, Tim Murphy – doesn’t have fur or feathers. (Marty is an African grey parrot and Keira and Yoshi are German shepherds.)

Laura is an adventurous sort. Recently, she was seen hanging from a rock cliff with a stokes litter in the wind and rain (USAR training), cheerful all the way. She also is an avid scuba diver who has traveled the world enjoying her sport. And she runs … and runs (marathons and 10K races).

Whenever she would hear of disasters in the world, Laura wanted to be part of a responding team. But due to work, she knew she had to look closer to home for any volunteer efforts. That’s why she chose CoCoSAR.

When she joined the team in the fall of 2010, she thought she might train a search dog and/or use her medical skills in the field. So far, the latter seems more likely. As an emergency room RN, Laura has plenty of experience dealing with sudden and major health issues, training which very well could come in handy on a search. While her job keeps her busy, Laura shows up all smiles to whatever SAR events and trainings she can attend.

And in her free time, she slows down to garden “for food, foliage and flowers,” she says, and to read and do Sudoku puzzles. Then she picks it back up again to hike. Whenever she goes hiking, she says, she has learned that doing so with her 20-pound pack makes trainings and searches easier when the time comes.

Her other piece of SAR advice is philosophical – if a little mysterious and with multiple layers of meaning: “Sometimes you open a door and it doesn’t lead to the room you expected,” she says. “But the room has many other doors that, when opened, lead to things you never thought of or expected.”