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Search And Rescue: Civil Air Patrol Saving Lives

January 12, 2013, 10:00 PM by Stephanie Gregory

Search And Rescue: Civil Air Patrol Saving Lives

Both by air and land they are searching and rescuing lives, it's the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol.

"Every time we're called upon we try to get a team to go out and do it," South Dakota Wing Commander for the Civil Air Patrol John Seten said.

The Civil Air Patrol is a group of volunteers and they say they will do anything from locate missing planes, perform missing person missions, survey storm damage, sandbag and more.

"A lot of the important part about the Civil Air Patrol is the contribution to the community and the volunteer hours we really do put in," Cadet Captain Elizabeth Foy said.

The Civil Air Patrol is made up of two groups, Cadets and Senior Members. The cadets are between 12 and 21-years-old. Foy says this organization has helped her grow as a leader.

"There are kids here that are 12-years-old and for a 12-year-old to come in every Thursday and be trained for something and to recognize that they can be a part of something larger than themselves and to contribute to something and finding and saving someone's life is a very big burden but also a big responsibility and a big growing point," Foy said.

The Senior Members are 21-years-old and older. They are every day civilians, but volunteer their lives and time to help with these searches.

Seten is a Sioux Falls Firefighter, but he is also South Dakota Wing Commander for the Civil Air Patrol.

"We have people who work for the state of South Dakota, the city of Sioux Falls, the Air National Guard; I could go on and on. Just people from all different walks of life all coming together for one purpose, help the community and help give back," Seten said.

Various times throughout the year Cadets and Senior Members get together to practice for when they're called out for the real thing.

"It's good to have that background to just come and do exactly what you normally do and there is none of that pressure and it's not think, necessary, but do," Foy said.

The Civil Air Patrol is a national organization. If you’d like to join the Civil Air Patrol you can visit their headquarters at 3401 Aviation Lane, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 or visit their website.

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