New-member orientation sessions have been scheduled for September and October by Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue.
The group is comprised of volunteers ages 14 and older who assist local law enforcement agencies with missing persons searches in urban and wilderness settings, natural disasters, recovery of evidence and evacuation of injured people.
Current members have already been on 15 mission around the state this year, including a search for lost hikers in Cowlitz County and on Rattlesnake Ridge; the missing skydiver at Mount Si; and missing people in Tacoma, Lakewood and Gig Harbor, said Grant Smith, the group’s operations director and founder.
Last year, the Explorers had 52 people join.
Formed in 1965, the Pierce County organization was the second Explorer group in the state. It is now a member of the Boy Scouts of America, the Washington Explorer Search and Rescue, the Pierce County Search and Rescue Council, as well as the Pierce County and the Washington State Department of Emergency Management.
Since it was created, the unit has participated in hundreds of missions in 24 counties and three national parks.