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Fremont Search and Rescue member honored for dedicated service


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EDITOR’S NOTE: is teaming up with the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to honor ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.
The winners of the 2016 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were announced at the American Red Cross’s annual luncheon Thursday, Feb. 25. Each day, through March 7, will feature a different winner.

ST. ANTHONY — In 1987, when his son, Eric, turned 18 years old, Butch Thomas, a member of Fremont County Search & Rescue, encouraged him to join the unit.

Eric Thomas had always wanted to help his community and the unit welcomed him with open arms.

When a search and rescue mission is initiated, Thomas notifies all team members at the same time via text message, which results in quicker response times. Eric has had radios installed in his home and vehicle to help him keep track of search and rescue members and to monitor radio transmissions during a search.

Whenever possible, Thomas accompanies the unit on searches, monitoring every transmission and relaying between team members and the sheriff’s office. When he is home during a search, Thomas stays up all night, listening and communicating via radio transmission. With the use of his computer and mapping program, Thomas guides search teams through sometimes difficult terrain to find via safe travel routes. Thomas stays on the radio until a search has ended and all members are home safe.

After a search and rescue mission, Thomas and another team member put together press releases for the sheriff and the search and rescue website to keep the community informed.


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