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Larimer County rescue team ready to respond to floods in burn scar areas

Larimer County Search and Rescue's mission is to find the lost, rescue the stranded and injured, and recover the deceased.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A team of volunteers is always on call for search and rescue missions in Larimer County. 

Unfortunately, the county is used to responding to floods, from the 1976 Big Thompson Flood to the flood in 2013 to the flood earlier this month in the Poudre Canyon. Larimer County Search and Rescue (LCSAR) was called to assist when a family went missing in July.

LCSAR is stationed in Fort Collins and is ready to respond at a moment's notice with the right equipment. On Saturday, members of LCSAR were upgrading their radios to make sure they were in compliance. 

Wendy Heath is a member of LCSAR. Her full-time job is a registered nurse. She, like every member of LCSAR, responds to calls for no pay. 

"For us, it is a way of life and I think that is true with a lot of people that volunteer for first responder agencies in their communities," she said. 

LCSAR's mission is to find the lost, rescue the stranded and injured, recover the deceased, and educate the public on wilderness and mountain safety.

A response from LCSAR is triggered by a request from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. In a monsoon season there's a higher potential to get called in after a flood. 

"It's bad timing to have such a heavy monsoon season on top of all of the burn scars," said Logan Heath. 

Logan joined the team with his wife, Wendy, more than 10 years ago. 

"With flooding, I think we knew that it might be coming because we had a lot of the same alerts that the community has," he said. 

Sometimes the job means preparing for the worst. They understand a devastating moment is the reason behind a call for help. 

"It is both difficult for us, on an emotional level," said Wendy. "We are human beings."