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Search and Rescue gets big gift

Bill Littlejohn may not be rapelling down cliffs to rescue an injured hiker, but he’s helping make sure the volunteers who do have a sturdy ride to get there.

On June 23, Littlejohn, owner of Olympic Ambulance and other businesses in town, donated an 8-year-old ambulance to the Clallam County Search and Rescue team, which is part of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

While it has some miles, Sheriff Bill Benedict said the vehicle is in tip-top shape.

“Mr. Littlejohn is doing us and the taxpayers a big favor here,” Benedict said. “He made sure the ambulance had a reworked engine, new tires and a complete overview to make sure it will still have a long life with search and rescue.”

Now the ambulance will be repainted and fitted with search and rescue gear and equipment. The team has been looking for a replacement vehicle for quite some time and to get one at no cost to the Sheriff’s Office saves the taxpayers thousands of dollars, according to Benedict.

Clallam County Search and Rescue is a team of volunteers vital to the safety of Clallam County citizens and visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula.

Sgt. Lyman Moores supervises the team and deputy Jim McLaughlin coordinates its activities. Moores said the county gets a tremendous payback from the volunteers.

“Many people don’t realize the commitment it takes for a volunteer to maintain a place on the team,” Moores said. “The training and the time commitment alone show how much these volunteers do for our safety.”

The volunteer organization responds to rescue calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The members are dedicated to safely and efficiently responding to emergency situations involving lost, overdue or imperiled persons requiring emergency help.

“The 30 or so volunteers with search and rescue, combined with the 20 volunteers in the (Department of Community Development) code enforcement arm of the office, really help us in tight times,” Benedict said. “People like Littlejohn and these volunteers are making budgeting a little easier because it keeps getting harder and harder each year to fund all the services we offer.”

Benedict and Moores want to give a special thanks to Clallam County Search and Rescue volunteers, including Rob Edwards, Mike Tyler, Ed Phillips, Dave Hull, Anne Chastain, Ricki McLaughlin, John Skow, Ruth Replogle, Rick McFarlen, Cindy Bryant, Don Laird, David Mittmann, Norma Snelling, Mike Rampenthal, John Hall, Lorrie Campbell, Amy Zeppa, April Lawson, Greg Voyles, Jacob Melly, Stef Gates, Jon Martin, Rob DeCou, Cevin Fors, Sindie Coffey, Gary Southard and Dwight Barry.

For more information on the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Clallam County Search and Rescue, visit www.clallamsheriff.org.



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