Butte News

Nov 29, 2013 7:43 PM by John Emeigh - MTN News

Butte's 15-90 Search and Rescue team celebrates 50 years of saving lives

Butte's 15-90 Search and Rescue team is celebrating 50 years of saving lives.

Brad Belke a member of the 15-90 Search and Rescue team says, "Originally the group started as a HAM radio club and there was a need for search and rescue and it kind of morphed into search and rescue and at that point the group split."
He says, "The people only interested in HAM radio went one way and the guys interested in search and rescue went the other."

Imagine getting injured or lost up on a ridge as darkness is starting to fall, possibly the only one that could save you is the Butte Search and Rescue team.

Belke says, "It takes the willingness to get up a 1 o'clock in the morning in the worst weather imaginable and be willing to go out and look for somebody that you don't know and probably did something foolish to be needing your assistance."

Frank Finnegan has been a member for 35 years and says the people and his sense of duty keep him with the program.

"A lot of good people in the search and rescue a lot of good friends and stuff like that and I always thought that if I'm lost or have a problem, I'd want somebody looking for me," Finnegan said.

At 81, Tom Reamer is the oldest member of the group. He doesn't let his age keep him from being an active member, because the rewards of this job are great.

Reamer says, "When we find somebody and we bring them back alive, they're so grateful, their families are so grateful, that's the greatest reward that you could possibly get, money has nothing to do with it."

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