MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — More than a dozen volunteer members from three regional search and rescue organizations recently participated in a mission to locate a missing Red Deer man whose vehicle had been found unattended near Olds.
Victor Garcia, Mountain View Search and Rescue president and search manager, told The Albertan 14 volunteers — including members from Sundre SAR as well as Rocky Mountain House SAR — assisted in the search effort to find Jeremiah Stanley.
Search and rescue teams were mobilized on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 13 and focused their efforts, which began at about 8:30 a.m., on the east side of Highway 2, said Garcia, who has been involved with Mountain View SAR for about seven years.
“We worked through the day until we were advised the subject was located,” he said the following day during a phone interview.
Once Mounties managed to locate the 39-year-old alive in the Red Deer area, he said police informed and stood down the search and rescue teams late that same afternoon.
“He was successfully found and the RCMP considered the matter closed,” he said.
“We consider it a successful mission any time that it comes to the conclusion of the person being found — it’s great,” he added. “I definitely consider it a very positive outcome.”
Even though search and rescue teams technically did not find Stanley, he said their effort plays an important role in helping police simply through the process of elimination by narrowing down possible locations where a missing individual might be.
“What we’re doing is just verifying where we know he’s not," he said.
Additionally, the Olds Fire Department deployed drones to get some eyes in the sky, he said.
“It shows interagency support for the end goal," he said.
Asked how often Mountain View SAR is mobilized for missions, Garcia said the organization gets approximately 20 calls every year, the majority of which come in during the early summer months as camping season picks up.
“We set up in the Burnt Timber area for the May long,” he said, adding the group observed its 25th anniversary this year.
Most of the calls received over the May long weekend — about 80 per cent or more — are medical in nature. That might mean anything from minor treatments like scratches that can be fixed with a Band-Aid, to more serious incidents that require a STARS air ambulance, he said.