Meet a handful of first responders, representatives of the thousands in our community who give their best when the worst comes calling.
El Paso County Search and Rescue
ON THE JOB: Since 2005, volunteer
BACKGROUND: Full-time job as program assistant, Child Development Center
ON WHY SHE VOLUNTEERED: “My husband joined the team about a year before I did. It was something he always wanted to do, and he did. In the year before I joined, I got to know what they did. After a while I got envious. I’d be home cooking and cleaning, and he’d be off on a mission. It didn’t take too much to twist my arm to join.”
ON THE COMMITMENT: “We’re on pagers on call 24/7. Family and work come first. Those who can, respond first. Not everyone can show up. We train four times a month. … It is a huge time commitment. We average 160 to 185 missions a year.”
ON ONE OF HER TEAM’S TOUGHEST SAVES: “It was a very, very hard mission physically. There was a gentlemen that I guess was coming down off a high, who wandered into the woods. He called 911 and said his back was broke, his legs were broke. We found him in a very dense area with no easy access. He complained the whole way down. Called us names. ‘Why aren’t we down? Just take a left here.’ We understood he’s not all there. We tried our hardest to get him there safely. It took us a very long time to get him out.”
ON HER PROUDEST MOMENTS: “Pretty much every time we save someone. Two times we actually brought someone back to life on the [Manitou] Incline. As a team, we’re all, like, ‘Yes!’ ”
—T.D. Mobley-Martinez. Photography by Aaron Anderson.