European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jan 5 1968, Page 11

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - January 5, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseBy Michael Short a staff writer t 3 a m on a monday the Tele phone awakens Miner Harkness. It is no Rolls out of bed and 15 minutes wer As most of greater los Angeles other millions snooze safely is scram bling through the inky night across crumbling Granite Cliffs Hunting a lost is his Hobby. Harkness is president of the 22-Mansierra Madre search and Rescue team one of the older and More inventive of31 teams across the country in the Moun Tain Rescue association. Membership in such a group is More than just a Way to kill spare time. It s almost a Way of life. Sierra Madre a pleasant suburb of10 000, is 12 Miles East of downtown los Angeles at the foot of the san Gabriel mountains whose peaks soar nearly two Miles High. team s Back Yard is Angeles National Forest second oldest and mos visited of 154 National forests a wild area the size of Rhode Island. It looms Over the los Angeles Plain a Magnet that offers escape in summer from heat and smog and in Winter becomes a giant ski and Snow sports Center. It is deadly As Well As Lovely. Each year it claims an average of 20 lives. The team s goal is to Cut that toll. To join is simple just become an expert Mountaineer be recommended by a member agree to train most week ends be on Call 24 hours daily when possible be willing to lose three weeks or so a year from work. And it s Handy to keep a few bloodhounds around the House. Members Are engineers photographers factory foremen anyone with the will and skill. In 17 years they have been on nearly 1,000 search Rescue mis Sions in four states and Mexico. All but40 of the 1,200 persons they sought were found alive. They serve without pay. They make ends meet by passing the hat around Sierra Madre netting $6,000 to $8,000yearly. Officials have estimated that Souther California s five search and Rescue teams save taxpayers $500,000 yearly by risk ing their necks for the fun of it. Members say they would t do what they do for Money. How much asks a team founder Earl Lalone could they pay a Man to be on Call 24 hours a Day i d quit if iwas forced to take h

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