After rescuing a missing man, search and rescue volunteers are in the spotlight

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Multiple agencies assisted Douglas County’s Search and Rescue efforts for a 69-year old missing man. The mission was successful, saving Harry Burleigh, who was in the Southern Oregon wilderness for 17 nights.

Many of the people involved in the search for Harry Burleigh are volunteers. They make up the majority of our local search and rescue teams.

Josephine County Deputy Maria Valdez has worked with the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. For the last two years, she’s been with Search and Rescue. While she’s a staff member in the Sheriff’s Office she said there’s always a need for volunteers.

“We rely heavily on volunteers to do the search and rescue for us. It’s great because these people bring so much experience from other walks of life,” said Dep. Valdez.

She said it doesn’t matter what your day job is, they have anyone from veterans to event planners on their team.¬†That’s what makes search and rescue so unique.

Deputy Valdez told NBC5 News COVID-19 has temporarily stopped her county’s volunteer training program. However, she’s hoping with everything else opening up the academy will too. If you’re interested, contact your local sheriff’s office for more information.

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