Saturday, April 16, 2011
NEWS: Search and Rescue
Sanford resident Toni Stacy, 51, walks through City Forest during a simulation of an initial search while attending a weekend workshop and training for Midland County Search and Rescue, a new organization with the mission of finding missing persons and evidence in Midland County and the surrounding areas. "I was a little nervous at first," Stacy said of the training. "I never knew how to use a compass or do half of what I know now. I'm learning so many new things. The bad that came from the death of Bob Cole breathes life into a program like this, which will allow us to find people faster in a way to help each other." The search for Cole, 62, began when he was reported missing on the night of Feb. 8, and ended when three men who never met him saw something floating in Sanford Lake. Pat Lamson, director of K-9 ONE Search and Rescue, said 90 percent of missing persons cases are settled and resolved within the first few hours. The other 10 percent, she said, rely heavily on volunteer-based searches because civil resources can only pay for people to search so many hours under their budget. "It's our friends, our neighbors — those are the volunteers who constantly search and volunteer to find evidence and people when they go missing," Lamson said, citing that 21 people volunteered their weekend for the training. "There is a good foothold for that here in Midland County."