By Jill Jones
Gold Canyon Today
Rescue equipment and medical supplies were loaded into vehicles by Superstition Search and Rescue (SSAR) members who then made a three-hour trip to Mexico to deliver the much needed cargo to Officer Jesse Rodriguez, who is working to organize a search and rescue team in Mexico.
Rodriguez, a law enforcement officer and canine handler in Mexico is working with Cruz Roja (Mexican Red Cross) and their coordinator, Enrique Enriquez, to develop a trained search and rescue team.
Rodriguez contacted SSAR a few years back seeking information on dog handling and search and rescue training. That initial contact sparked a long-distance relationship between SSAR members and Rodriguez. Even though SSAR is a self-supporting, all-volunteer organization; team members took on the challenge of helping their counterpart in Mexico.
SSAR volunteer Joyce Wilson worked tirelessly to obtain a grant for Rodriguez to attend a dog-handling course, only to be told that Rodriguez would not be able attend because he is not a U.S. citizen. This set-back took a toll on Rodriguez, who was so disappointed that he considered giving up on his dream of organizing a rescue team. Wilson eventually convinced Rodriguez to persevere and she and SSAR became an integral component in Rodriguez’s quest.
On Wednesday, December 30, 2009 members of Superstition Search and Rescue met with members of Rodriguez’s team, presenting them with backpacks, boots, medical supplies, tents, ropes and more so that the Mexico team can provide life saving services in their country.
Superstition Search and Rescue (SSAR) is a volunteer service organization that assists individuals who experience wilderness-related problems in the Superstition Wilderness Area. The members are highly skilled in wilderness first-aid, technical rescue, orienteering and do not charge for these life-saving services. They sacrifice their personal time and resources to assist those in need and operate a 24/7 rescue hotline at 480-620-0299 for those needing assistance.
SSAR relies on donations from individuals and/or corporations and fund-raising activities to support the training and equipment they need to continue serving individuals who find themselves in a situation in which they require assistance. All donations are tax deductible and no matter what the amount, provide the group with valuable equipment and resources necessary to do their job – saving lives.
If you would like to donate to the unsung heroes of Superstition Search & Rescue, please send a check or money order payable to SSAR, P.O. Box 1123, Apache Junction, AZ 85217. For more information on SSAR or to make on online donation visit SSAR at https://superstitionsar.org