Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue seeks funds

The nonprofit is seeking funds to help with equipment upgrades, a leaky roof, and other needs to continue its mission.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Every year, Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue devotes more than 9,000 hours of service to more than 120 vital missions. Funded primarily by donations and made up of all unpaid volunteers, the nonprofit works with the community to stay afloat and now hopes for sources of money to ensure its equipment remains useful and safe.

Some SCVSAR volunteers have been giving their time for decades and have seen the equipment age over time.

“A lot of people assume, rightly, that we’re here to help people — all of us, directly, help people, but we also get something out of it,” Mike Loney said. “For me and a lot of us, it’s team camaraderie, being on a mission and being on a team, people you’re very close to.”

Even though they are unpaid volunteers, rescues are expensive. For example, hoists used to lift someone during a rescue cost tens of thousands of dollars to overhaul during the maintenance period.

In addition to helicopter rescues, the group has seven other teams, including an equestrian unit and swift water rescuers. Their work requires a lot of equipment, including hovercraft, which are aging, and vehicles, most of which date from the 1990s. They also need a new roof as the current one is leaking, as well as another building to house the rest of their equipment, because when wet the life can be shortened.

Recently, SCVSAR has been trying to apply for grants, but so far has not secured the funding it needs to do these types of repairs and replacements. He is looking for members of the community who would like to donate or who have ideas for funding sources that could help them continue their work. To find out more or make a donation, click here.