ESCANABA – The Delta County Search and Rescue Team was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Robert and Jeanine Dagenais Foundation. Team director Mike Sands says the funds will be used to purchase 10 VHF pager radios that are to assist in the team’s interoperability.
Sands says a recent rescue showed the need for the equipment when the volunteer group experienced serious communication challenges.
“Donations like the one we recently received from the Dagenais Foundation is absolutely critical to our team,” said Mike Sands, director, of the DCSAR Team. “Without this funding, we wouldn’t be able to purchase the equipment or pay for the training that our members need to keep our skills sharp.”
In December 2010, the search and rescue team was awarded a $5,485 grant from the Dagenais Foundation to purchase a Rapid Deployment Craft (RDC) and air tanks. Since the equipment was purchased, Sands says the RDC has been deployed many times in emergency operations, including the swift water rescue in July of kayakers near Boney Falls in the Escanaba River.
Raising Additional Funds
The search and rescue team is in the middle of an annual raffle fundraising campaign and Sands said the grant from the Dagenais Foundation will help. He said the $23,000 worth of equipment and specialized training is still needed to help ensure the team’s effectiveness. As the only technical search and rescue team in Delta County, he said any financial donation will go a long way to help standardized their rescue equipment and improve the safety of the dedicated volunteers.
Raffle ticket prizes are a Browning A-Bolt Rifle or $250 cash; a Remington 700 Rifle or $250 cash; a Remington 870 Shotgun or $250 cash; a Patriot Kayak; a Camping Package; and a Boar Hunt from Superior Game Ranch from Cornell, MI. Cost of the raffle tickets are one for $5; six for $20.
Tickets can be purchased at: Breezy Point Bar, Ford River; D&M Subs, Escanaba and Gladstone; Joe’s One Stop, Rock; Mike Sands State Farm, Escanaba; Rapid River Mini-Mart, Rapid River; Rapid River Pub, Rapid River; and White’s Grocery, Escanaba.
The raffle ticket drawing is on Sept. 30, 2013 at the Rapid River Lions Club, 10491 S. Main Street, Rapid River. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the Rapid River Lions Club providing free hot dogs and soda. The drawing will occur at 7 p.m.
Donations for the DCSAR Team can also be sent to the Delta County Sheriff’s Office at 111 North 3rd Street, Escanaba, MI 49829. Note on the donation that the funds are for search and rescue.
The DCSAR Team, operating under the Delta County Sheriff Office, consists of 20 specialized trained volunteers. They cover 1,177 square miles within Delta County, as well as assist neighboring counties when requested. With mutual aid agreements, the volunteers can render assistance to any other first responding agency in the Upper Peninsula.
The DCSAR Team’s mission is to provide a professional level of search management, leadership, and cooperation too efficiently and effectively locate, stabilize and transport lost or injured persons.
The DCSAR is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DCSARMI.