The first sign that something wasn’t right was a broom handle outside on the ground next to their UTV trailer, said Stacey Gauthier, manager of Hope’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team.
“Then I came around the trailer, here, and noticed the door was punched out, and (our) awning (is damaged),” he continued. And although the sleds and UTV that are normally stored in the trailer are safe, the Honda EU2000i generator the team uses when deployed was stolen.
“We use the generator to provide power to the trailer,” explained Gauthier. “It helps provide lighting and heat, and portable lighting when we need it.”
“Most of our calls come in when it’s pitch black outside,” added Noelle Hartt, the SAR team’s media liaison officer.
There was also a group of items left behind on their property that will need removal: an old radiator, clothing, pallet lumber, and a pile of heavy, industrial bolts.
Completely run by a group of dedicated volunteers, Gauthier estimates that the team will have participated in at least a dozen rescues by the end of the cold weather, but as sledders and skiers are now heading into the back country, the trailer and generator will be needed.
“And it’s not like we can just fix the trailer here,” said Gauthier. “We have to unload it all and transport it to a service place (in another community).”
|After learning that the Hope Search and Rescue team had been robbed of their portable generator, local couple Nick and Sam Fry stepped up and donated theirs. (Submitted)|
However, after the Hope SAR posted on Facebook about how a Grinch tried to ruin the SAR team’s Christmas, a local Hope couple reached out to turn a bad situation into a good deed. After reading about the SAR robbery on social media, Sam and Nick Fry, who happened to own the exact generator, decided to donated theirs.
The Frys reached out to the team through Facebook, and Hartt says she was shocked: first with learning of the robbery, and second with how fast the community stepped up to fix the problem.
“I was in shock, but it just felt heart warming, especially today, (which is Christmas Eve),” said Hartt. “Now we can do our job if we get a call in the middle of the night. We’ll have heat and lights and everything we need.”