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Sworn in

Marquette County Search and Rescue team gets new members

MARQUETTE — Fourteen new members were sworn in to the Marquette County Search and Rescue team last week.

New members include Erin Chabie, Michael Woodard, Brian Downing, Keith Johnson, Reghan Lawomowski, Steven Lindberg, Terry Sleeter, Ivan Wiljanen, David Boase, Adam Holloway, Rebecca Hoult, Jerry Hoult, Mason Tompkins, Gary Shier and Kelly Laasko.

The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office expressed a need for more volunteers late last summer and received over 45 interested applicants, Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt said.

“I was very happy to have such a high-quality group of people applying that have a lot of experience,” Zyburt said.

Applicants ranged from college students to seniors to former Michigan state Rep. Lindberg.

The team provides water, ice and high-angle rescue services and assists in the search for hunters, hikers, snowmobilers and other missing people as needed. Search and rescue is called out on average 30 times a year, according to the Marquette County Special Operations Division webpage.

Certain skills are sought in team volunteers such as ability to take direction, survival skills, knowledge of the woods and the willingness to go out in extreme conditions such as high temperatures and sub-zero weather for extended amounts of time, Zyburt added.

Search and rescue volunteers are trained over a six-month period and all equipment needed is provided to them with funds collected through a millage. Proper training and equipment assures a safe and quality team, he said.

“I found out when I was down in Lansing, our search and rescue team is very well known and very well respected,” Zyburt said. “I think it’s because of our training, but also because we have one of the largest counties this side of the Mississippi River. There’s a lot of area and a lot of different terrain, so it’s important to have quite a few members and a lot of good members to have people that we can count at all times, day and night.”

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.

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