- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) - On any given day, you can find Shaun Roundy at his job working for one of the many tech companies that dot Utah County. But every so often, Roundy gets a call on his phone, signaling his cue to grab his gear and go save a life.

Roundy is just one of more than 60 individuals who make up the volunteer Utah County Search and Rescue team. People from all walks of life with varying skill sets make up a crew that covers any and all situations in Utah County, whether it is in the mountains, in the water and everything in between.

Roundy has been on the team for 17 years after watching his father serve on the Cache County SAR team before him, reported the Daily Herald (https://bit.ly/2k145m4).

“It just struck me like that’s something worth doing,” he said. “And the rest is history.”

Whenever Roundy gets paged, he and the 60 other volunteers get an alert on their phone, giving them the opportunity to respond out. Not everyone responds to every call, and if they don’t have enough members for the situation, dispatch officers will page the team again.

“The volunteers could be at home, at work, having dinner with your family,” Roundy said. “And we get a page, we head out.”

In his nearly two decades of service, Roundy’s had to rescue people in some of the most precarious and interesting situations. But as a whole, he can lump them all into two kinds of patients.

“There are the ones who go outside and something just goes wrong. They’re prepared to various degrees, but something unfortunate just happens,” he said. “And the other kind is the people who just frankly don’t have good judgment.”

“Experience is what you get when you don’t have experience,” he laughed.

On Jan. 6, he had one of his more memorable rescues. His patient was stranded on the side of a cliff in the foothills between Rock Canyon and Y Mountain in Provo. She got lost from her group the night before and was hungry and thirsty by the time crews got to her.

But when Roundy and other crews came close to her, she got frightened and ran away. The patient was a bit skittish, considering she had previous abusive owners. And when Roundy tried to hook the patient up to a harness, she nipped at him and bolted away.

His patient didn’t walk on two legs, but rather four. Roundy spent the better part of that day trying to save Mary, the dog of a Provo family.

“I think I was on rope for about hours. We went down a little before sunset, and got to my car at about 8,” Roundy said. He recorded every minute of the rescue attempt and shared a video of it online.

The hike was excessively steep and avalanche danger was highly prevalent that day. But none of this fazed Roundy and the team.

“Tying anchors around rocks, lowering systems down, that’s our bread and butter,” he said. “My teammates who were working that, they were such experts, I never had a moment of doubt.”

Mary made it home safe the next morning, though she was a little bruised getting down on her own.

Despite the prevalence of danger, Roundy loves working with his SAR brothers and sisters to keep Utah County residents safe in their worst moments.

“I love to climb, ski and sail, but if you do it because someone is lost or hurt, it’s three times more rewarding,” he said.

Those willing to join or contribute to the volunteer SAR team can do so at utahsar.org.


Information from: The Daily Herald, https://www.heraldextra.com

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