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Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office holds search and rescue training

APTOS, Calif. (KION-TV) - Deep in the forest of Nisene Mark State Park Thursday, Santa Cruz County’s Search and Rescue Team gathered for a mock search training.

“We are a search first organization, somebody gets lost, they call 911. We get dispatched to, to do a search," Search and Rescue Team Volunteer Brian Berliner said.

Berliner is one of 39 volunteers, along with eight staff members that make up the county's Search and Rescue Team. The Nisene Mark State Park was chosen for the training because the team has been dispatched to the park several times in the past.

“The big challenge here is it's a giant park and there's a lot of places to get lost or missing their trails that just dead end or water features at cross creek," Berliner said.

Michelle Henderson has been volunteering and working with her dog Quinn for three years.

“We've been out on like Alzheimer's patients that have wandered away from their homes, missing children, just other people at risk, and it's been both in the wooded environments, as well as the urban environments," Henderson said.

Henderson adds the volunteers come from various walks of life, from tech workers, nurses, and students looking to give back.

“We all have this common cause and bond of wanting to help people who have gotten lost," Henderson said.

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, in 2023 the Search and Rescue team was activated 10 times.

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Austin Castro

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