For Immediate Release from Superstition Search and Rescue:
Superstition Search and Rescue (SAR) would like the citizens of Pinal County, whom we have served for the past 15 years, to know that SSAR will not be joining Sheriff Paul Babeu’s newly proposed search and rescue posse program. A decision was made by open team vote on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, with 95 percent of our membership in attendance, that SSAR can better serve the citizens of Pinal County by continuing to operate as a separate resource, rather than to become a part of a posse program.
SSAR has our own command structure which has a proven track record and which follows the highest standards in the industry. Our members are professionally trained in all wilderness search and rescue techniques including wilderness first response. Because of this we have successfully assisted and saved over 2,000 lives in this decade alone.
We do not believe we should require members of our highly trained group to become posse members if they do not wish to do so. We feel this decision should be left to the personal choice of each and every member.
We also believe that operating as a posse search and rescue unit would further burden tax payers and limited county funds. Our team, through its affiliation with the sheriff’s office, received liability insurance through that association. Going forward we will be covered through provisions in Arizona State Statutes for volunteers and volunteer organizations, in addition to having the option of obtaining liability insurance through the National Association of Search and Rescue, thereby saving the county additional expense.
Over the last 15 years, SSAR, a 501c3 organization has been fortunate to be supported and equipped through private donations and fundraisers for which we are extremely grateful. We intend to continue to provide quality, highly skilled and professional search and rescue services under this model. It is our hope that we will continue to receive the support of the community as we move forward in our decision to provide independent skilled search and rescue services to you; our citizens, visitors and friends.
For additional information on SSAR, to make a donation, to become a member or to volunteer, please visit our website at www.superstitionsar.org.