By John Banuelos
One of the chief assets of CoCoSAR is its size. We number at 200-plus members at any given time. This number of members allows us to send out a solid count of searchers at any one time to provide robust assistance, both in and out of couty. And if the first callout doesn’t bring enough searchers, the number will swell with the second callout.
However, for the Academy staff ,the power of 200 is magnified by the commitment of its members to “pay it forward” to a new generation of Academy students. In 2012, over 100 members participated with the Class of 2012 and its 40 candidates. In 2013, over 100 again participated with the Class of 2013 and its 31 candidates. It is a demonstration, in my mind, of our team’s enthusiasm to help. It is volunteers volunteering even more of their time to the development of the team.
Members helped as coaches, a resource that was repeatedly used by 2013 candidates. Coaches represented the kind and helpful face of CoCoSAR.
Other members repeatedly served as instructors and proctors to help students understand navigation, first aid, radio communication and other miscellaneous SAR skills during many lecture portions of the academies. Many gave up weekends to assist in with the Type 3 USAR Type 4 skills Saturday, the navigation practical Sunday followed by the Type 2 low-angle rigging Sunday and the full weekend of fun known as UNO.
At times the proctors and team members exceeded the students themselves;
Orientation - 41 members
Type 3 hike – 41 members
Type 2 Hike – 49 members
UNO – 57 members
USAR, MRG, Bike Team, and Tracking contributed resource members or introduced the skills of the resource to the academies. Leaders of Search Management and Hasty were contributors to the academies and UNO.
No academy can progress without the contribution of team members. To each and every one of you, the Academy staff wishes to say, “ Thank you!” I hope to see all of you at the academies of 2014.
And for those members who have just graduated, remember the gift you were given by the generations that came before you. Consider paying it forward in 2014.
By John Banuelos