Sunday, April 21, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - Search & Rescue

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

I have been a member of the Lapeer County Mounted Search & Rescue Team since it began in February 2018.  A friend of Sister 1 had told her about this new program and she asked me to go with her to the informational meeting.  Since I don't live in Lapeer County, I went along with her for moral support.  As they told about the program, they (the Sheriff's department who developed it) said it was open to residents of neighboring counties, too.  Well!!  So I applied, too.  

Obviously we were both accepted into the program.  

  We started out with like 35 volunteers & deputies.  We learned afterward that there is a LOT of training (some of it is $$$, too!) and PR involved to get our name out there.   A lot of people dropped out and now we're down to about 15.  So the PR is now also for recruiting. 

We're all part of the "ground pounders" since we clearly all have feet.  There'a also equine, canine, ATV & drone divisions.  So far we've done a bunch of online training courses from FEMA, they're requiring everyone to get their amateur radio license (woohoo!  I was ahead of the game there!)  We've done wilderness first aid, canine first aid and equine first aid.   Some people have already taken their 6 day SARTECH II course (Sis 1 and I are taking it in September) and next month we have a 3 days Tracker course being taught by a guy who is supposed to be the best in the world.  This is going to be pretty awesome.  4 hours classroom and 16 hours in the field.  Hope it's a nice weekend!  At least we'll get to sleep in cabins.  We won't get to for SARTECH. 

We've done a few training sessions with the horses.  There's supposed to be a 3 day training with them this fall, but that's TBD.   The K9 team is out every week.   Sis & I have patrolled the parking lot at the Eastern Michigan State Fair, we've done traffic control for a 5K race, we're taking the horses next weekend to a Spring Expo put on by the Chamber of Commerce that has a lot of fun family things to do including fire & EMT trucks and *us* of course. 
 Horse training last summer. 
 "Lost" in the woods, waiting for one of the K9s to find me. 
 Sis at the Fair
Me at the Fair 
The extent of the excitement at the fairgrounds (besides learning Kisses does NOT like the sounds of 4 cylinder cars racing) was me making a total idiot of myself in front of Lt. and 3 deputies.  I went to get on Kisses and she spooked at something & took off across the parking lot.  I was hanging over the saddle upside down (by my arm, obviously!) yelling and managed to hang on until she went on the grass, and that's when I fell.  Then later in the evening we'd gotten off to rest a bit and I used the bumper of a truck as a mounting block (tall horse + bum knee = need help!) and proceeded to roll my ankle in the stirrup and almost fell off again.  No wonder Lt. makes fun of me!  I had a rough night. 
 Our first mock search at a campground, we actually found a knife in the woods!
Following Lt. across a bridge to the roads where we were did traffic control. 
 I wish they'd gotten a picture of us coming in from the race route - we had to have looked impressive trotting in our columns of 2.  We did get a round of applause of those still left in the area. 
I look like a cow here but Kisses looks pretty!
We had some high school kids with us who were part of what I imagine are the Sheriff's version of ROTC.  
Me on the far right.
It was so exciting that we had an actual call-out in March!  I thought it was a drill at first, since it was a Tuesday afternoon.  And of course I had chosen to stay a little late at work.  But once more info started trickling in, I realized it was real, said screw work and headed home.  We had been out on foot for a good 2 hours when they called us in so they could send out Bella the K9.  I was chatting with another lady and by then the guy had been missing for a good 6-7 hours and she commented that most likely now we'd be looking for HR (human remains).  That sort of floored me, but she was 100% correct, there was that possibility.  But thankfully, the guy came wandering across the pasture on his own, like he'd been out for a stroll in the woods.  Whew!

It was must have been a slow law enforcement day, since at one point there were 3 state trooper SUVs there and 7 sheriff's cars. 
Just because it's a cool picture. 


  1. Wow, that's some bruised arm there. Very pretty horse.

    1. I had a good lump on my arm for about 3 weeks, too. You never know how much you use your left arm & shoulder at a desk job until you do something like this!
      I agree that Kisses is a pretty girl. :)


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