Shorewood grad given award from State Search and Rescue council

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Chris Terpstra receiving award from SARVAC
Photo courtesy SARVAC

1992 Shorewood grad Chris Terpstra was honored with an Adult Leadership award for 2018 from the Washington State Search and Rescue Volunteer Advisory Council at its 50th Annual Washington State Search and Rescue Conference held June 18-24, 2018 in Ellensburg, Washington. 

Search and Rescue (SAR) units are volunteers whose mission is to search, rescue and / or recover those who become lost, missing, injured or killed while outdoors and to educate people on outdoor safety and wilderness recreation.

Chris Terpstra and Makalu
In 2017 there were 1,007 SAR missions in Washington State with 370 missions in King and Snohomish Counties.

He is a member of the Snohomish County K-9 team, which nominated him for the award.

Chris has been involved in search and rescue for over 14 years. He is an Operations Lead for the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) K9 Team and a member of Everett Mountain Rescue.

As a member of SCVSAR K9 he has been a driving force behind many initiatives both inside the team and beyond in the K9 community at large. As a Microsoft employee, he is also applies his technical expertise to adopt and leverage new technology for the units.

W. O. (Bill) Gillespie, President, Search and Rescue Volunteer Advisory Council, said that Chris has worked on a number of projects that have had impact all across the State of Washington. "He is an extremely valuable resource for us."

Bill Gillespie, President SARVAC
congratulations Chris on his award
Chris is currently working his second SAR dog Makalu, who is certified in Area Search and cross-training in cadaver, disaster, and avalanche.

Chris has been on two hundred plus Search and Rescue missions in both urban and wilderness environment, including the 2014 Oso Landslide. In 2017, without K9, he deployed to Hurricane Maria (Texas) and Hurricane Irma (Puerto Rico).

His nomination letter noted that "Chris is constantly looking to learn, improve, expand and share his knowledge and experience with his own team and others. He has been instructing Area Search workshops to other teams in Washington State and is currently a Principal Area Evaluator with National Search Dog Allegiance (NSDA)."

As for Chris, himself, he said "I am very honored by this award made only possible by continued support from family, teammates, friends, and the greater K9 SAR community. We are all volunteers working to help others."


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