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 MCSO, the Team responds for searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free. Each year, the Team honors members for their individual excellence and public service and shares in the experience with family, friends, and the community alike. This year the Team
held a Holiday and Awards party at the Palisades Room at The Village Lodge in Mammoth Lakes on the evening of Saturday, December 3, 2022.
The Team’s primary annual honor for achievement is the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year award. The award is named in memory of a beloved teammate who died in an iceclimbing accident in 1996, and it is given to the Team member who represents exceptional leadership, individual excellence, and achievement. This year, the Pete Schoerner Rescue
Member of the Year award was awarded to Jerry Evans. Jerry is a very active member of the team responding to 73% of the calls for 2022 and 356 team events since joining the team.
Jerry is often the first to show in the building during a call and often last to leave, bringing a great amount of experience, maturity, and great decision-making support to the Team missions. In addition to his great mission support, Jerry is a member of the Board of Directors, lending his experience to overall Team growth.
New members in training are called Candidate Members, and must undergo training, practice, and testing in eighteen skill categories before being considered for advancement to Rescue
Member. Completion of all requirements takes a lot of dedication and faithfulness over a period that is typically a year or more. The Team honors one Candidate Member each year with the
Rick Mosher Candidate Member of the Year Award. Rick Mosher is the only team member to have died in the line of duty while searching in a small airplane that crashed during an
operation on August 15, 1979. This year the Team selected Jacob Lipman as the Rick Mosher Candidate Member of the Year. Jacob is very active in many areas of Team responses to calls, training, and education. Since joining the team, he has participated in 56 team events and has advanced to Rescue Member, all in his first year. Jacob is a model example of what it means to be a new member to our Team and jumped right in with tremendous commitment.
The Team relies heavily on Support members who ensure our facilities and equipment are ready for any mission any time. This year the Team voted to recognize Bruce Torrence for his
outstanding dedication and commitment to the success of our team. Bruce is the Facility Manager for the team and is working, on a daily basis, to attend to any needs of equipment and make sure everything is operating perfectly. This work varies from repairs and
maintenance on vehicles, restocking supplies on the rescue vehicles or tending to building maintenance and snow removal. In addition to these tasks, Bruce manages all team uniforms, purchasing or repairing what we need for our missions. Bruce’s efforts ensure our facilities, vehicles, gear, and team are ready for any mission. His tireless work and dedication are critical to our success and defines the role of an outstanding support member for Mono County
Search and Rescue.
Additionally, a 30-year service award was presented to Steve Case, who was also awarded the Pete Schoerner Rescue Member of the Year Award in 2006. To date, Steve has completed 693 operations and trainings, was a member of the Board of Directors and serves as our lead Tracking Trainer. Steve is a beloved member of our team and provides a wealth of knowledge on locations, trails, conditions, and mission approach.
A 10-year service plaque was awarded to Megan Guffey, who was also awarded CandidateMember of the Year back in 2012, her first year on the team. To date, Megan has completed a combined 177 operations and trainings.The SAR team wishes to thank members of the community for their generous support.
(Jerry Evans & Rob Patterson MOSAR President) (Jacob Lipman & Rob Patterson)