Southern Utah offers many wonders to locals and tourists alike, including hiking, ATV, rappelling, boating, swimming, skiing and many other outdoor activities. With these opportunities come a high number of search and rescue calls. Rick Berry, Marketing/Internet Director for Findlay Automotive of Utah explained, “Four years ago, we learned that the Sherriff’s Search & Rescue team was in need of white water equipment and additional training for personnel in times of flood and other emergencies. We wanted to help.” The generous automotive dealership met with Sherriff Pulsipher and created an annual event to raise funds and support the needs of the Search & Rescue team.
Initially Findlay Automotive was able to provide the necessary white water equipment and training the Sherriff’s Office needed. Since then, the volunteer base, expertise, equipment and capabilities of the Search & Rescue team has expanded. Said Sherriff Pulsipher, “Thanks in no small part to donations like these, our local team has been able to provide lifesaving assistance throughout our county and now as part of a five county region and the Arizona Strip area. This year we are looking to provide additional training for our volunteers to include EMT opportunities as well as providing training to other first responders in our region for white water rescue and more.”
This year the tournament was held at Green Springs Golf Course and featured a 4 man scramble format for nearly 120 participants. The event was a huge success with 24 hole sponsors and more than 100 donated prizes. Teams had a great time playing golf and interacting with the sponsors throughout the day with one player commenting “This was the best tournament I have ever played in.” It is because of the atmosphere and opportunity to support a great cause that the event continues to grow and generate donations. “We want to really grow this event so that we can increase what we give.” said Berry. “We are so thankful to Green Springs, our sponsors, prize donors and everyone that came together to support our community in this way.”
The Washington County Sherriff’s Office Search & Rescue team does receive funding from the county as well as the region, but equipment costs and training are high. Currently the operating budget is just $20,000 each year. Fortunately, the local volunteer base is large, dedicated and knowledgeable. In fact, many are local business owners themselves who drop everything to answer a call for help, even if that means purchasing some of their own equipment to provide assistance in an emergency situation. “We rely on partners like Findlay to help us support the community. This donation is more than half of our total operating budget and we are so thankful for it. We could not provide the services we provide without private donations, and appreciate every dollar we receive that helps us to continue saving lives in our area.”