SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- Last week search and rescue teams were out in full force in the Huasna Valley searching for 12-year-old Mikayla Anderson. Mikayla was found safe a day later and was brought to the hospital for a check up.
So she's home safe but who are the volunteers that drop their personal and work lives in an instant to search for other people's loved ones? Glenn Sparks was the incident commander the day Mikayla Anderson disappeared. He had information on her shoe size to how she liked to climb trees.
Sparks said a volunteer searcher is trained and knows how to collaborate but it also takes a selfless person. "These are truly our communities heroes, they are people who will get up in the middle of the night to come and help you find your loved one," said Sergeant Sandy Lever of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs Office.
Last year search and rescue put in 6-thousand volunteer hours. "They are college students, they are professional people that have full time jobs, we have doctors," said Sergeant Lever.
Sparks retired as a Department of Fish and Game Warden after 28 years, he then joined the search and rescue crew. "I spent a lot of time both looking for animals and people that were potentially illegally taking animals, so they weren't lost but they were trying to hide from me so my job was to find them," said Sparks.
For families like Mikayla Anderson's the help of these volunteers could be the only chance of finding their loved one. Last year the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team went on roughly 29 searches. Not one of the volunteers are getting paid, Sergeant Lever said without them, just one of these searches could bankrupt the Sheriff's Office.
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:29 AM EDT2013-05-23 05:29:02 GMT
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