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Unpaid Professionals:  It’s not what we do; it’s WHY we do it!

November 10, 2023

Why spend hours equivalent to a part time job…without the pay?  Why spend untold hundreds and thousands of dollars on your own equipment, training, vehicle wear and tear, and missed work (shhh…don’t tell the boss). Why miss family events? Let’s not forget about the lost sleep from being called out at 02:00 or from laying there awake in bed because you’re unable to respond and praying for a successful outcome, waiting for the message “Subject located alive and well”. Why would someone volunteer to put themselves, their families, career and friendships through this? 

Simply put, it’s in the SAR motto: ‘That Others May Live’. It’s on our patches, vehicles, and part of our logo. It’s even tattooed on more than a few volunteers!  Those four words encapsulate enough to write a book. It’s the volunteer who shows up for the missing Alzheimer’s subject because, at one time, they experienced it for themselves with a family member. It’s the volunteer who is a parent, who responds to the missing calls for a missing child. The hiker who went up the same trail the day before and now is carrying out a patient with a broken leg on a dark, rainy night. It’s the mountaineer flying out on the helicopter rescue team to a remote peak to rescue someone they might know, or with the memory of a lost loved one who lost their life in a similarly perilous situation.

‘That Others May Live’…four words that mean so much, to so many.  It’s personal for each of us, and even without a connection, we show up and do the work we’ve trained hard to do.