Helpers need help: Snohomish County Search and Rescue in need of donations

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- An organization dedicated to helping others is now in need itself.

The Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue, or SCVSAR, responds to more than hundred calls for help a year and now volunteers are sounding the alarm for donations.

SCVSAR is an all-volunteer organization, with tens of thousands of volunteer hours donated each year, but the group says without funding of some basic needs the work they do will suffer.

Repelling down mountains and deploying K-9 units and swift water rescue teams are just part of the job for SCVSAR.

“We don’t get paid and we do this on our own time and our own expense, and we buy our own equipment,” said Bill Buck, the Vice President of SCVSAR.

It’s the kind of dedication John McKeon saw firsthand in August 2008 when his son and his two friends made headlines after being trapped on Three Fingers Mountain.

“They were going to spend an overnight in the lookout tower, things didn’t go as planned and one thing led to another and before you know it, it was a life or death situation,” said McKeon.

Even after eight years, McKeon remembers how volunteers made him feel that day.

“I call it a good kind of traumatic stress, you know it’s kind you don’t mind having,” said McKeon. “It was a long night, but we were kept informed, we were kept fed and encouraged.”

McKeon says he was so encouraged that he became a volunteer himself. He’s now leading the efforts to raise funds to maintain rescue units and buy supplies, like a new food truck that will feed volunteers and families awaiting help.

Without donations, he fears a family like his won’t get the kind of help they need.

While the majority of missions are from Snohomish County, volunteers say the organization will respond to mutual aid missions all over the state.

If you’d like to donate, head here.