May 15, 2008

Another Fantasy Shot Down

A missing-person case last fall in Fremont County really got under my skin. I wanted to volunteer for the search, but of course I had college classes to teach. (There are no substitute teachers at a university.)

Knowing that I would be leaving the university this spring, I decided that as soon as I was free of that responsibility, I would volunteer for the Custer County Search & Rescue. Doing so would have several benefits:

• Giving back to the community

• Meeting other outdoor-oriented people

• An incentive to stay in shape by hiking, mountain biking, etc.

• And, very likely, having some experiences worth blogging about.

Well, no.

I called the S&R number and left a message. Yesterday, while I was at the vet's office with Jack (bladder infection), someone called me back, leaving a message on the answering machine:

"We have a full complement of volunteers."

That sounds too much like, "Don't you call us, we'll call you." Why do I feel like I've been rejected by the cool kids? (Does anyone ever outgrow high school?)

So evidently I won't be the one finding the lost mushroom picker or Alzheimer's patient.


Peculiar said...

I renewed my WFR last spring with the Custer SAR folks. The seemed like a pretty genial lot, like they'd be fun to work with. That said, such a reply would have bugged the hell out of me. Can you really ever have enough folks trained and on call? It wasn't that big a group that made it to the WFR class; if a third of them happened to be unavailable, that's not much manpower for a serious operation (WMI recommends a minimum of 18 able bodies for a litter carry of any distance). From what I see on the mountaineering boards, seems like there's a pretty decent demand for search and rescue services in the Sangres.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Not just the Sangres but the Wet Mountains too, where a couple of hikers have disappeared for good in my memory.

I thought that my living in the Wet Mountains might be an advantage in terms of response time, but evidently that is not a desideratum.