In March, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit released their new custom-made badge. The badge features a seven-star circle with a double-reverse banner on the bottom. The center seal of the badge features mountains with the rescue symbol and the moon.
Search and Rescue Sergeant Brandon Toll stated, “98% of our rescues or recoveries happen in the mountains and the rescues generally happen at night, so both symbols, the mountains and moon, are very important to our work.”
Weber County Search and Rescue is different from other Search and Rescue units because there are a wide variety of rescues that take place in different types of terrain within the county that don’t happen in other counties. Sergeant Toll stated, “We have mountains, lakes, marsh land, snowmobile trailheads, ATV recreational areas, mountain biking trails, waterfall trails, and rocks for climbing. Therefore, we have to have people trained in each area that not every county has the pleasure of performing.”
The Weber County Search and Rescue is a volunteer service through the Weber County Sheriff’s Office. It is strictly volunteer work; there are 120+ members of the Search and Rescue unit. Most counties only have 20 or 30 volunteers. Each Weber County Search and Rescue volunteer specializes in one aspect so there isn’t a burnout factor that occurs in the smaller rescue teams.
Requirements for Search and Rescue are pretty straightforward, but not just anyone can become a team member. The first requirement is being specialized in a skill whether it be scaling a mountain, diving, or on horseback. The second requirement is having first aide skills and the final requirement is being able to pass a physical test annually as well as tests within the specialized field.
“The team loves their new badge. It makes them feel like they are a part of the Sheriff’s office,” said Toll. Since there is a resemblance to the sheriff’s badge, the Search and Rescue badge may only be worn on Search and Rescue business with their Class-A uniform so that there is not a danger of being mistaken as law enforcement.
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