For James Dietz, a good day off from his day job as an emergency-room nurse is spent rappelling down a canyon wall, hiking across rough terrain or rescuing people trapped in vehicles.
“I feel like this is what I was made to do,” he said.
Dietz is part of the all-volunteer Pennington County Search & Rescue Team. They have about 30 members, and they’re looking for more.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 140 E. Main St. N, the team will host a recruitment event. It’s a chance for interested members of the public to learn what the Search & Rescue Team does and what it takes to be a member.
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Dietz said prospective members must apply and go through a background check and interview process. Applicants who are selected to join the team undergo training as frequently as once a week for the first year.
Team members respond to about 80 calls per year on average. This year, team members have responded to 120 calls and logged a combined total of 5,700 hours.
Dietz said the team likes to have a roster of 30 to 50 members so that there is always a sufficient number to respond to calls.
“We’re looking for people who have the time and the drive to help their community,” Dietz said.