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VT Appoints First Search And Rescue Coordinator

If you're lost or injured in the woods or in the mountains a local rescue team of volunteers responds to help. Soon, that search and rescue effort could be even more effective thanks to a new statewide coordinator.
STOWE, Vt.-  If you're lost or injured in the woods or in the mountains a local rescue team of volunteers responds to help. Soon, that search and rescue effort could be even more effective thanks to a new statewide coordinator.
Neil Van Dyke says he hopes his new role as the first statewide Search and Rescue Coordinator in Vermont will help save more lives.
He has 30 years experience under his belt with Stowe Mountain Rescue, participating in more than one thousand search and rescue missions, all as a volunteer.
“The idea to be able to devote full time to it - to something I have a passion for and have been involved with for a long time is very exciting for me,” said Van Dyke, who is currently the Stowe Mountain Rescue Coordinator.
Van Dyke's new job will the first time he gets paid to help save lives as the state's first Search and Rescue Coordinator.
“Ultimately the goal certainly is to have a more efficient search and rescue process in VT. And that's really what it’s all about improving the way we do business in search and rescue throughout the state and hopefully having better outcomes,” said Van Dyke.
Better outcomes as Van Dyke says search and rescue teams respond to more and more calls each year.
“We have definitely over the course of the past 30 years have seen a pretty dramatic increase in the number of search and rescue calls throughout the state,” said Van Dyke.
He will also have to make sure all teams in the state have the same training and have the equipment they need to do their job.
Another important part of his job will be public outreach encouraging Vermonters to stay safe while exploring the outdoors.
“I think going forward it will be a good thing for the state and improve search and rescue for all Vermonters,” said Van Dyke.
Van Dyke says he's excited about the opportunity to coordinate state wide search and rescue agencies to better serve those in need.
He will officially begin his new role as the state's Search and Rescue Coordinator on December 2nd.



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