By Julie Johansen
On Memorial Day, May 25, 2014, Cooper White and his family were vacationing on the San Rafael Swell when a horrible ATV accident took the lives of his grandparents and critically injured him as well as injuring his younger brother and cousin. Emery County Search and Rescue as well as Air Med responded to the accident. Compassion and care continued for the family as members of the search and rescue attended the funeral for the deceased. Members also called regularly to check on the family and dedicated their triathlon to the deceased couple.
Wanting to support those who supported them, members of the White family participate yearly in the Emery County Search and Rescue Triathlon and Cooper dedicated his Eagle Scout Project to the organization. He soon found out that he couldn’t just do a fundraiser, but he could raise money to present the search and rescue team with needed equipment.
On Friday evening at the annual Search and Rescue Banquet, Cooper presented the group with a motorcycle. In return, Cooper was made an honorary member of the posse. Upon seeing and hearing Cooper’s YouTube video, other businesses and individuals made substantial contributions to the unit.
Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk stated that the county’s unit is one of the few volunteer search and rescue teams in the state. He continued by explaining that that volunteerism is a thing of the past. Funk said that this presentation from Cooper attests to the quality of the people in Emery County, stating that they are always ready to respond when needed.
The team is made up of 42 members ranging in age from 21 to over 70. They come from all walks of life and all have different areas of employment, which they have to leave at a moments notice to help.
Emery County covers 4,460 square miles, 92% of which is public land available for hiking, ATV riding, single-track biking, horseback riding and more. In 2017, the team had 100 callouts, mainly on the weekends. The group consists of EMTs, first responders and 12 rope rescue individuals.
Also during the banquet, Wade Allinson recognized Jim Jennings for his service to the team by overseeing the financials. The whole group then applauded and stood to recognize Howard Tuttle, who has served for 53 years on the Emery County Search and Rescue Team. Some stated he had been serving longer than they had been alive, which is an unbelievable accomplishment.