The Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue will hold a series of orientation sessions as it looks for new members.
The Explorer unit was formed in 1965 to assist state and local agencies in search-and-rescue operations for missing persons, lost hikers, downed aircraft, recovery of evidence and to supply volunteers for community service activities. Members are 14 years and older.
It is a branch of the Boy Scouts of America, the Washington Explorer Search and Rescue, the Pierce County Search and Rescue Council, as well as the Pierce County and the Washington State Department of Emergency Management.
“Last year, the unit had 81 people join and 54 of them finished all four courses. It was a good year for us,” said Grant Smith, the unit’s operations director and founder.
“We are really looking for dedicated people who have a real interest in search and rescue. We hope they will stay with us a little longer than just one year. We really like it when we get 14-year-olds that will be with us for four years or more,” he added.
The unit has been on 16 missions in this state already this year. Among them was a February evidence search in a landfill related to the Josh Powell case and a successful search in July for a 68-year-old hiker missing in Wynoochee River area of Grays Harbor.
Since its inception, the unit has taken part in 987 missions. Smith estimates those efforts had a value of more than $2.98 million, had participants been paid for their services.
“We are all volunteers and have never been paid for any mission in 46 years,” he said.
Sept. 19: 7 p.m. Gig Harbor branch of the Pierce County Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive N.W., Gig Harbor
Sept. 27: 7 p.m. University Place branch of the Pierce County Library, 3609 Market Place W., Suite 100, University Place
Oct. 1: 7 p.m. Sumner branch of the Pierce County Library, 1116 Fryar Ave., Sumner
Oct. 17: 7 p.m. South Hill branch of Pierce County Library, 15420 Meridian E., South Hill
Oct. 23: 7 p.m. Summit branch of the Pierce County Library, 5107 112th St. E., Tacoma
More information: Go to pcesar.org or call 253-752-3727.