Douglas building group adopts Search and Rescue |

Douglas building group adopts Search and Rescue

by Christina Nelson

Douglas County Search and rescue is the new “poster child” of the Douglas County Builders Industry Association, says DCSR president Lois Knudsen.

“I am almost without words, which is amazing,” Knudsen said of her gratitude to DCBIA. “We’re looking forward to this relationship lasting a long, long time.”

By adopting Search and Rescue, DCBIA will contribute funds raised from a home show to the all-volunteer organization. They will also promote DCSR through publicity such as advertisements, said Fran Houle said, executive director of the building industry association.

“Our organization is very community-minded,” said Houle. “We wanted to concentrate on a volunteer group that really needs help.

“I respect what they do so much,” she said. “They were very important during the flood.”

Karrie Paganini, a member of DCSR said that there are only eight radios for approximately 50 Search and Rescue volunteers. She also said that the annual budget is about $2,000.

“It costs more than that to keep my dog team going,” Paganini said. She has the only Search and Rescue dog in Douglas County.

“The technology on our radios is probably at least 10 years old,” said Knudsen.

Knudsen also said that most of the vehicles owned by Search and Rescue are hand-me-downs from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office with well over 100,000 miles of use.

“They are just so underfunded, it’s frightening,” Houle said.

Houle said that the DCBIA is “thrilled” to help.

“We want to get the name of Search and Rescue out there.”

The home show will take place on Sept. 12 and will be modeled after last year’s trade show.

It will include “anything from lighting to landscaping,” Houle said.

There will be games and free gifts for children who attend.

An all-terrain vehicle, a spa and a trip to Fort Worth will be raffled. There will be 500 tickets available for the raffle and they will cost $50 each.

Houle described the event as an informative and fun day for both children and adults.

The profit made from the home show will go directly to DCSR to use for supplies such as radios, vehicles and uniforms, Houle said.

“We’re never going to put any strings on what they do with it,” Houle said.

In the past, DCBIA has raised money for a fire safety trailer and scholarships for Douglas High School students.

“We can do more good by concentrating on a group like Search and Rescue rather than scattering our money,” Houle said.

She also said that she would love to see another organization adopt a volunteer group such as Search and Rescue.

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