Mono searchers celebrate a year of rescues
With 37 calls and 3,410 hours so far this year, Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team members took time to look back at their Dec. 8 awards dinner.
Barry Beck was named a lifetime member, the highest honor the team bestows. Beck has served actively for 14 years. Records show that he has participated in 230 search and rescue missions, 307 trainings, and 243 meetings, for a total of 780 team events.
“The award is conferred to a rescue member who has made unusual, faithful, and regular contributions to the team and to the welfare of victims over a significant number of years,” according to team officials.
Beck has served in a wide variety of roles, including board member, training officer, and currently as the team president.
Eric Kaufman was named the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year, named after a teammate who died in a 1996 ice-climbing accident.
Kaufman is a member of the board of directors and is a an active responder to search and rescue calls. Since joining the team in 2017, he has responded to 121 team events.
The team honors one member in training each year with the Rick Mosher Candidate Member of the Year Award. Mosher is the only team member to have died in the line of duty while searching in a small airplane that crashed during an operation on Aug. 15, 1979. This year Mitchell Quiring received the award. Quiring is active in many aspects of response to calls, training, and team readiness. Since joining the team in April of this year, he has participated in 51 team events.
Jim Gilbreath received the Golden Carabiner Award for 25 years of service, while Heidi Vetter was recognized for 10 years of service.
Team member wives Valerie Case and Jean Gilbreath, were awarded SAR WIDOW plaques.
Mono County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that responds for searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free.