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Senate Passes Resolution Establishing a National Search and Rescue Week
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) honoring our nation’s Search and Rescue personnel by designating May 16 through May 22 as National Search and Rescue Week. The bipartisan resolution was also sponsored by Senators Patty Murray, Mike Crapo, Jeff Bingaman, Barbara Boxer, Mike Enzi, Lisa Murkowski, and Ron Wyden.
"As an avid hiker and mountaineer, I take steps to prepare myself and minimize my risk whenever I pack for a trip," Senator Cantwell said. "But I understand that no amount of preparation can protect you from an accidental misstep or an unforeseen circumstance, and it is often the swift response of trained search and rescue personnel that makes the difference between tragedy and survival. Every day in Washington state and across our nation, these brave volunteers exemplify courage, commitment and compassion in performing their duties. Today, we have passed a small act of recognition for their heroic efforts."
Search and Rescue organizations are composed of paid and volunteer experts in search and rescue and disaster response. They work for military, law enforcement, and civilian organizations. Search and Rescue personnel come from a wide range of skilled backgrounds, including pilots, mountaineers, divers, urban technicians, dog handlers, backcountry horsemen, and snowmobilers.
A 2009 study reveals on average, national parks launch 11 search and rescue operations per day. Typically weekends are busiest, and it is day hikers, young men and boaters who are most commonly in need of help. Washington state is home to three of the 58 National Parks in the United States.
Early Sunday morning in Washington state, Search and Rescue workers came to the aid of a snowboarder who went missing Saturday afternoon on Mount Hood. Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue volunteers worked through the night and helped Portland Mountain Rescue volunteers finally locate the missing man. And just a few weeks ago, the King County Search and Rescue found an injured mountain biker near Lake Tradition.
Designating May 16 through May 22, 2010, as "National Search and Rescue Week".
Whereas the National Association for Search and Rescue and local search and rescue units across the United States have designated May 16 through May 22, 2010, as "National Search and Rescue Week";
Whereas the Senate recognizes the importance of search and rescue services that are provided by both salaried and volunteer citizens through county sheriff offices and military entities;
Whereas throughout the history of the United States, search and rescue personnel have served the people of this Nation by helping to save the lives of fellow citizens who are lost or injured;
Whereas search and rescue personnel continually offer educational services that provide individuals with the survival knowledge necessary to live safely in diverse environments, from mountains to deserts and across both the urban and remote areas of this Nation;
Whereas search and rescue personnel train continually in order to maintain mission readiness and to be able to address complex search and rescue situations with both knowledge and skill;
Whereas search and rescue personnel are instrumental during national emergencies or natural disasters, as they are willing and able to respond and remain on missions for many weeks;
Whereas search and rescue personnel are required to be focused and dedicated in order to carry out missions that involve personal sacrifice of time, finance, and property, and place their own lives in danger;
Whereas in the United States, more than 500 individuals have sacrificed their lives during search and rescue missions or training; and
Whereas search and rescue personnel shall always be recognized as essential to protecting the lives of the citizens of this Nation: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate-
(1) designates May 16 through May 22, 2010, as "National Search and Rescue Week"; and
(2) encourages the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities that promote awareness and appreciation of the role that search and rescue personnel perform in their communities "so that others may live".