AVSAR now equipped with night vision goggles
By Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue
IT may not look like much, but to those in the know, that green glow is a game changer.
With critical support from the Trinchera Blanca Foundation, the Cielo Vista Ranch and The Early Iron Club, Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue is excited to announce that it has purchased two sets of night vision goggles. The team has long sought to be able to search better at night and it can now do so. The goggles are military-issue items that come with an enormous expense. The team has a goal of four sets, and with these generous donations, it is already halfway there.
By using night vision while flying with their aviation partners – Guardian1 out of Alamosa, REACH29 out of Salida, Lifeline5 out of Pueblo and Life Guard 4 also out of Pueblo – AVSAR’s Search and Rescue technicians can perform searches from the air while the pilots concentrate on flying. The team hopes to be able to locate individuals and get help to them at night rather than waiting for sunrise.
“Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue is a 100 percent volunteer organization that is funded by fundraisers, donations and grants,” said Crystal Wilson, AVSAR president. “We are fortunate to have received donations specifically for the purchase of these goggles. We have many donors, but we would specifically like to thank three that donated directly to this cause. We sincerely thank the Trinchera Blanca Foundation, the Cielo Vista Ranch and the Early Iron Club. Without these donors, it is hard to say when we would have raised enough to get our night vision program off the ground. We are beyond grateful to them. We also need to thank the crew of Guardian 1, a medivac helicopter based in Alamosa. Guardian 1 has been helping in the training of our SAR techs with the use of NVGs. Being able to get in the air and fly the areas we search at night under night vision is invaluable.”
“Having the right equipment is essential for the brave men and women who conduct search and rescue missions in the Valley,” said Louis Bacon, chairman of the Trinchera Blanca Foundation, the local affiliate of the Moore Charitable Foundation. “These advanced night vision goggles are a critical aid to search and rescue technicians who are now able to play a more active role during night searches, and we are proud to support AVSAR and their life-saving work in our community.”
“We have been part of many night searches, many from the air. Without night vision, we have relied on the pilots to not only navigate the Sangre de Cristos at night, but also be our eyes on the search while we rode blindly in the back of the helicopters. We felt that it was too much to ask. Flying these mountains is tough enough during the day and tasking the pilots with searching and flying at night is a lot. Now we can share the responsibility,” said Stephen Cline of AVSAR.
The team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.