The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, all-volunteer search and rescue team, received the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department “Volunteer of the Year” award at a ceremony in Riverside. Around 500 people attended the ceremony held annually to honor especially meritorious service by both uniformed personnel and volunteers. RMRU’s award was one of many presented that evening. Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff made the presentations. For each honoree, moderators read a summation of the actions and service for which the award was presented.
RMRU is one of the longest serving volunteer search and rescue units in the country. Organized in 1961, it is also one of the most nationally recognized and honored. In attendance at the April 4 ceremony, and just off a very challenging April 1 mountain rescue, was one of RMRU’s newest members, Idyllwild local and six-month RMRU member Helene Lohr. At the same table was Pete Carlson, the longest continuously serving RMRU veteran, active for the last 42-years. Lee Arnson, past RMRU president and Idyllwild local, also attended. Arnson was also on the difficult April 1 rescue of a young hiker stranded on Tahquitz, with Lohn and Carlson’s son, Will.
In closing remarks, Sniff acknowledged the valuable contributions volunteers and ordinary citizens provide the public and the Sheriff’s Department. “Without the valuable service volunteers and citizens provide our department, we could not provide the levels of protection and safety that we do. We have over 1,600 volunteers that work with us. I offer my congratulations to each of the honorees.”