“Sometimes when the phones start ringing in my house, I think No, I don't want to go out into the cold!” Natalie Gore says. “But I pull myself out of bed (sometimes grumbling), get dressed and head out. I have never once on a search thought I wish I wasn't here. But there have been a few times I couldn't go and I thought I wish I was there.
That about sums up Natalie’s enthusiasm for the work. She may not have known quite what she was getting into when she joined the team in 2010, but she has certainly gotten into it – her face is familiar around OES and all Search and Rescue Team events.
Originally, she was looking for some way to volunteer her time, but it was hubby Andy Csepely’s idea to look into search and rescue. She came along to see what it was all about and they joined together. They make a dynamic, committed team, often travelling together to OES from their home in San Ramon several times a week to proctor, help with training or logistics, attend search management classes, and so on.
Natalie admits she’s not a particularly outdoorsy person and she’s often happier sitting alone crunching numbers, reading or working on one of her many crafts projects (the current passion is quilting) than interacting with lots of people. But she adjusts well when she’s in search-and-rescue mode, participating in the Hasty Squad, leading a training, coaching, or working with the Explorers.
“I try to stay positive, so I'd like to think I bring a little bit of encouragement to others,” she says. “I am also persistent – some may say stubborn. I think this is a good quality in a searcher.”
Natalie finished her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Cal State East Bay after she joined the Search and Rescue Team, but continued to work in inside sales until December. At that time, she decided to go back to school and take the CPA exam so she can get her dream job in finance/accounting. “I am trying to take control of my career path,” she says.
Asked for her advice for other team members, Natalie says, “Don't be afraid to ask questions and talk to other members you don't know. Most people – if not all – are good people that really want to help. I feel like I learn something new at each training. Part of that is that there is so much to learn.”
Is she glad she joined the team? “It's not always easy, but it is satisfying,” she says. “I may never find someone, but it won’t stop me from looking.”