SAR Coordinator’s Note

WP KovarAs the Team has closed out 2013 I want to take a moment to thank each and every SAR member for their incredible contributions to the SAR Team and the Office of the Sheriff this past year.  SAR Team members contributed over 45,000 hours of service to the team and the community you serve in 2013.  This contribution equates to over 20 full time positions in the Office of the Sheriff. This is a salary equivalency of over $2.5 million dollars. 

The SAR Team participated in 53 missions, countless medical details, PR details and other special functions through-out the year.  In accomplishing the above, the SAR Team supported 22 different law enforcement agencies in and around the county.  Additionally, the SAR team responded to 12 mutual aid call outs outside of Contra Costa County.

There were many noteworthy callouts, starting with the New Years Day epic carryout of a rescued hiker in the hills of Marin. There was a multi-day search for a naked 6’ 8” tall man in Sonoma County in the Spring.  We had two team members on separate searches locate a missing subject while en-route to the CP.  Our growing trailing K9 resource continued to see more calls for service.  There was the successful find of the missing 4yo girl in Richmond (asleep under her bed).

On a more somber note, our team assisted with body recoveries in Solano and Nevada Counties. While sad, these searches brought about closure to the missing person’s families. 

In 2013 the team continued to assist with evidence searches helping local agencies with personnel and expertise. One event included the eradication of a pot grow on a remote island in the Delta. Additionally, the metal detector squad participated in many evidence searches and successfully recovered weapons and elicit drugs.

In September the SAR Team was tasked with responding to the Morgan wild land fire on the East side of Mt. Diablo.  This was a difficult call and required a very dynamic and flexible response by all.  The team played a critical role in evacuation of residents at risk from the wildfire.

Another disaster related capability the team played a critical role in was the Urban Shield Mass Fatality exercise in October.  Urban Shield tested the County’s capability to respond to a mass fatality event. This exercise proved that the SAR Team is critical to the County’s response to large disasters and has paved the way for future integration.

The above only briefly touches on the incredible amount of work each member dedicates to the team.  But it is a testament to your dedication.

The team is situated and ready for an incredible 2014.  I can’t wait to be a part of it with you.