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SAR teams reimbursed for equipment, training, rescues

Published February 28, 2011 1:01 am

Safety • $273,000 is paid out for equipment, training and searches for missing, hurt people.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dozens of Utah search and rescue teams received more than $273,000 from a state fund last year to pay for equipment, training and searches for missing or injured people.

Just over half of the money reimbursed to a total of 25 counties was spent on equipment, according to an annual report released by the Search and Rescue Advisory Board. About $65,000, or 24 percent, paid for searches, and 19 percent, or about $52,000, was spent on training.

Cache County, the fifth busiest area in Utah for search and rescues since 1998, received the largest reimbursement for equipment last year. The county bought two 2009 Arctic Cat snowmobiles for $14,900 to replace older snowmobiles, said Sgt. Jake Peterson.

"Winter time is our busiest season," he said. "We use those Arctic Cats a lot."

The county also upgraded ropes, rope bags, webbing, carabiners and a stretcher. It also outfitted the dive team with buoyancy vests. The total reimbursement was $24,460.

Grand County, which recouped nearly $9,000 for equipment, conducted the most search and rescues last year with 93. That was six more than Utah County and 39 more than Salt Lake City. Cache County conducted 22.

At least nine search and rescues turned into search and recoveries in 2010. The deceased included a 57-year-old Orem man who was crushed by a boulder in May while searching for topaz in Juab County. A 26-year-old Holladay woman who died in June after she and a companion slipped and fell over a waterfall in Bells Canyon in Salt Lake County. And a 26-year-old West Valley City man who also died in June when he jumped out of a boat at Strawberry Reservoir in Wasatch County and never resurfaced. Divers and search boats with radar never recovered his body.

Two skiers and a man on a snowmobile died in avalanches, and three others drowned.

In all, there were 516 search and rescue missions in 2010. —

Reimbursements

Cache • $24,460. 72

Iron • $18,548.47

Millard • $17,971.15

Sanpete • $16,453.73

Weber • $11,419.53