Mono County picnic to honor its search and rescue team


The Mono County Sheriff’s Office hosted a picnic to reward the search and rescue team.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) Team is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives. When called by the MSCO, the team responds to searches and rescues anytime, in any weather, for as long as needed, free of charge.

Each year, the team honors members for their individual excellence and public service. This is usually done at an awards dinner in December. But due to pandemic restrictions, he was delayed until an outdoor picnic held on May 1, 2021 at Mono County Park.

The team’s main annual honor is the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year award. The award is named in memory of a beloved teammate who died in an ice climbing accident in 1996.

The Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year award went to John Bush.

This year, the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year award went to John Bush. John serves the team as a member of the board of directors, as a vice president, equipment manager and as a member of the training committee. It responds very actively to search and rescue calls. Since joining the team, he has responded to 216 team events.

New members in training are referred to as Candidate Members and must complete training, practice and testing in eighteen skill categories before being considered for advancement to the Rescue Member rank. Fulfilling all of the requirements takes a great deal of dedication and loyalty over a period of time which is typically a year or more. The team honors one candidate member each year with the Rick Mosher Award for Candidate Member of the Year. Rick Mosher is the only member of the team to have died while on duty while searching in a small plane that crashed during an operation on August 15, 1979.

Chad Senior as Rick Mosher Candidate of the Year

This year, the team selected Chad Senior as the Rick Mosher Candidate of the Year. Chad is very active in many aspects of team responses to appeals and training. Since joining the team, he has participated in 111 team events and has
became a relief member.

Christina Ackerman rappelling with her dog Takoda.

20-year service plaques were awarded to Jutta Schmidt and Jeff Holmquist.

Christina Ackerman was awarded a 10-year service plaque along with a photo of her and HRH Dog Takoda rappelling off a cliff.

The SAR team would like to thank members of the community for their generous support since the team was founded 55 years ago in 1966.

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