When a hiker gets lost in the forest or a horse falls down a ravine, who do you call? The Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, of course! Foothills residents are well-acquainted with SMSR through the many news stories that cover their outdoor rescues.
In celebration of the Team’s 60th anniversary, the Sierra Madre Library’s READ campaign honors the members by featuring SMSR on its third round of campaign posters and souvenir bookmarks. Every three months throughout 2011, a new READ poster is created to honor a Sierra Madre resident active in the local community.
The READ campaign was created in 1985 by the American Library Association to promote literacy among all age groups. Comedian Bill Cosby was the first notable to appear on a poster; since then, more than 150 celebrities have donated their images for these posters, which convey the simple, but potent message: READ. In addition to the ALA posters, local libraries can feature local celebrities.
Larry Smith, President of SMSR, brought members of his team together to be pictured with their book selections in front of a rescue truck. Eric Triplett, Vice President, said, “The partnership between SMSR and the Sierra Madre Library, both now and in the past, has been beneficial to both organizations. It has given the team the opportunity to interact with the community with preventative search and rescue programs at the Library, and it makes the community not only aware of wilderness safety but also that the Sierra Madre Library is a great resource for knowledge about the outdoors.”
Sierra Madre Search and Rescue was founded in 1951 as the first search and rescue team formed in California. An all-volunteer arm of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a member of the national Mountain Rescue Association, the team responds to approximately 60 calls per year in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains and from Baja California north to the Sierra Nevadas.
All members are trained in mountaineering, search and man-tracking, high-angle rescue, specialized mountain rescue systems, communications, field navigation, technical rock and ice climbing, helitac techniques and survival skills. They are certified to the level of emergency medical technician (EMT) or higher. Volunteers supply and maintain their own personal equipment and the team owns several fully equipped vehicles. The Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team is financed solely by private contributions and receives no financial support from any tax funds.
The Sierra Madre Public Library is located at 440 West Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. For more information call (626) 355-7186, or visit the library’s website.
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