Utah County, Utah — A search and rescue volunteer from Utah County went to her vehicle and noticed the window was smashed and her gear was stolen, on Tuesday morning.
As the majority of search and rescue team members in Utah and across the nation are volunteers, they use their own time, their own funds, and a fair amount of their own equipment to respond to search and rescue callouts which most of the time involve bringing someone to safety.
“They took my radio which is my main form of communication with my team, they took my pack, full of the gear I had just used on my rescue so technical gear that I use to get people off the mountain,” said Deb Yokshas, who said her vehicle was parked in the brickyard area of Salt Lake City at the time of the smash and grab.
“That’s not personal gear that I use on my own it’s to help other people and someone took that and now I’ve got to replace it,” she said.
Deb estimates the cost of the gear amounted to roughly $1,000 plus the cost of replacing her car window. Fortunately, her team has already stepped up to help her purchase new gear. “I cannot describe the amount of time that our team members put into helping others,” said Yokshas.
“We take it on financially, emotionally, physically, and to come out and to know that I purchased this gear out of my own pocket that I worked hard for and I’ve done it, that gear is to help other people,” she said.
She has been working with Utah County SAR for the last three years. Working to help others primarily in the mountains, is something she loves to do. “I was going through some tough things in my life and I was spending a lot of time in the mountains and I saw a couple of accidents and I felt helpless, and I wanted to be able to find a way to feel useful,” said Yokshas.
“It is a really good outlet for me to give back to my community in ways that I’m passionate about,” she said.