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2023 President’s Letter

November 10, 2023

What would be your response if your life were saved, or the life of a loved one? For the three siblings rescued this summer from Three Fingers Mountain, it was pure joy (they most likely would not have survived if they had to wait another day). For the families of multiple Alzheimer’s and Dementia walkaways found this year (and every year), relief and thankfulness. Nichole Doane’s “thank you SCVSAR for saving my life” has been expressed in the hundreds of hours she and filmmaker Baylee Sinner have put into the recently released documentary film, Where the Rope Ends.

SCVSAR volunteers attend monthly meetings with their “home” Unit: Alderwood, Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU), Explorer (ages 14-18), Marysville, Operations Support Unit (OSU), or Snohomish. We need field qualified personnel to go on missions; one of our most common missions is a “pack out” of an injured hiker from any one of our very popular trails. We need motivated field qualified personnel to be trained for special operations units and teams, such as EMRU (technical & snow mountain rescue), the Swiftwater Rescue Team (SRT), the K-9, 4 x 4 and Tracking Teams, and the Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT). As the article talks about, we even have an Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) Team, operating state of the art drones to assist in rescues and recoveries.

There are plenty of opportunities for support roles in Search & Rescue. The Operations Support Unit (OSU) supplies the support personnel for the Command Vehicle (documentation, mapping, communications & planning), and for the Food Truck. Anyone with any skills at all, and with the right heart and attitude, can meaningfully support this wonderful organization. If you are interested in volunteering, please go to

While not everyone can put in the time to become a Search & Rescue Volunteer, many people who love the outdoors can financially support the people who will drop everything that they are doing to help others in need.  Someday, the mission could very well be for you or for someone that you love. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Snohomish Count Volunteer Search & Rescue (, a 501c3 organization, this year, and consider donating to SCVSAR every year.  Know that your dollars are going to a great cause; know that your funds would be carefully and thoughtfully allocated to where they are most needed; and know that you’re making a tremendous difference. Thank You Very Much.

Heidi McKeon

Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue President