Support The Last Resort.
SUPPORT THE LAST RESORT. HELICOPTER RESCUE TEAM
By: Kolin Quick-Gunther, Seattle, WA: Ever wonder who would save your life if you broke your leg skiing deep in the backcountry? Well the answer is these guys: the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team (SC-HRT), but that may not be the case in the new future. evo sat down with Miles Mcdonough from the SC-HRT to find out more about the people who risk life and limb everyday to keep you safe and how you can help them and help your Mom keep her peace of mind. Now on to the interview.
–What exactly is SC-HRT (Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team)?
Miles: The Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team is a non-profit organization that conducts 80+ helicopter rescues a year, primarily in Snohomish County. We have flown rescue missions in support of King, Chelan, Skagit, Whatcom, and other counties. The team is a working partnership between the Sheriff’s office, Everett Mountain Rescue, Snohomish County Fire District #26, and Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue. The vast majority of the positions on the team are filled by volunteers. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office operates under Federal Public Aircraft rules and cannot charge for rescues.
–How long has SC-HRT been around for?
Miles: SC-HRT was formed in 2000 and fire paramedics were brought on board as Flight Medics in 2005. That being said, helicopters have been an integral part of Search and Rescue in Snohomish County since the mid 1970s.
-What kind of rescues does SC-HRT usually do?
Miles: SC-HRT maintains a crew on call 24/7, every day of the year. Each time we respond to a mission we have both a mountain rescue technician and a flight paramedic on board to ensure that we can appropriately conduct a rescue regardless of the terrain or emergency. The rescues we have conducted span all backcountry activities:
- Hiking: See the rescue
- Alpine climbing and Mountaineering: See the rescue
- Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding: See the rescue
- BASE Jumping: See the rescue
–How many missions do you guys usually do a year?
Miles: We average around 80 missions a year.
–Any cool rescue stories?
Miles: SC-HRT conducted a short haul rescue of an injured hiker just over a week ago about 5 miles up the Boulder River trail. Our rescue technician captured the entire rescue on a helmet cam! See the video HERE>
-Why does SC-HRT do what they do?
Miles: SC-HRT understands that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. We want to ensure that members of our community have access to a timely rescue resource when accidents happen to take place beyond the reach of standard emergency services.
–You guys are in a bit of transitioning stage right now? Can you explain what is happening?
Miles: We recently lost our primary source of funding. SC-HRT had been receiving $150,000/year from a provision in the Federal Timber Tax, which was enough to cover the cost of fuel, maintenance and rescue gear each season. A month ago we were notified that, not only was this funding discontinued, but that SC-HRT would only receive $17K rather than the full $150K for 2013. We have enough funds to safely operate through the 2014 rescue season but without a new source of funding, our team will be forced to discontinue operations. We are reaching out to the community to secure a sustainable source of funding.
-How does one help volunteer with SC-HRT?
Miles: SC-HRT is currently very much in need of volunteers to assist with fundraising, marketing and video production. Our team has never needed to devote resources to these areas of expertise but our recent funding challenge has certainly changed this. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly at info@SupportTheLastResort.com if you are interested in assisting in this regard.
–Is SC-HRT doing any upcoming events or fundraisers?
Miles: SC-HRT is planning to host its first ever, fundraising auction in March of 2014. The exact date and venue are in the process of being finalized.
–How does one donate to SC-HRT? Or find out more?
Those wishing to support SC-HRT with a donation can do so electronically through Paypal on our website (www.SupportTheLastResort.com) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/SnohomishHRT), or by mailing a check to:
Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team
5506 Old Machias Road
Snohomish, WA 98290
Thanks Miles and thanks to the SC-HRT for keeping us safe out there! If you do not live in the Seattle area, chances are your community has a local Search & Rescue Team, Google it and support it.