Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher accepted a $10,500 donation on behalf of a five-county regional search and rescue team. A St. George car dealership, Findley Automotive, held a golf tournament to help raise the money. This is the fourth year the group has contributed to help volunteers purchase equipment and participate in training exercises.
“When I first started we bought everything ourselves,” Pulsipher said. “The county didn’t have the ability to provide any equipment, training or anything. We did it all ourselves.”
Money from the golf tournament will be used to fund half of the team’s $20,000 yearly budget. Pulsipher said this year search and rescue volunteers will be issued 72-hour emergency packs containing rescue ropes and other emergency supplies.
“So when they get a phone call they have the packs and equipment ready,” he said. “This makes them ready at a moment’s notice and go out and help.”
The 70-member volunteer search and rescue team has used donations from the past to purchase swift water rescue equipment and specialized rappelling tools to help assist crews during mountain and steep cliff rescue efforts. In July, the team helped local law enforcement crews locate and care for a group of university students suffering from heat exhaustion while hiking northwest of St. George.
“They are willing to help us when we have big fires and we had to do some evacuations and road closures,” Pulsipher said. “These guys are willing to drop everything and come out. I don’t have enough employees to go out and handle those kinds of things.”