Two Utah search and rescue organizations were commended for their work in 1987 during the recent National Association of Search and Rescue Response '88 conference in Salt Lake City.
Honored with the group's Utah Outstanding Organizational Award were the Iron County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Patrol and Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs.The Iron County patrol has a long history of work in their own and adjacent counties, according to the nomination letter, and "the dedication they have to their county and fellow human beings has been shown repeatedly."
The nomination singled out a rescue effort over the Labor Day 1987 holiday weekend when the patrol, working with the Civil Air Patrol, located a downed small aircraft in rugged Ashdown Gorge.
The Civil Air Patrol was able to give a rough location for the crashed plane, but search and rescue members went in on foot, located the wreck, provided medical aid for two survivors, and then moved them to a spot where they could be taken out.
"These people could not have survived without this dedicated assistance," said the nomination.
Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs is a volunteer canine search and rescue program that has been operating for nine years. The members live mostly along the Wasatch Front but have been used throughout Utah and in most neighboring states.
"This organization gets used in many different situations because of the cross-training that is done," the nominating letter said. "This includes tracking, air scent searching, evidence work, disaster, avalanche, body location of drowned persons and cadaver work."
The letter cited an Aug. 24, 1987, search when a team member found a 69-year-old man in rugged Sanpete County, provided first aid and helped evacuate him. "This man would have died without this dedication," the nomination said.