Local Search And Rescue Team Helps Save Lives in Severe Weather

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OZARK (KFSM) -- The Search and Rescue team in Franklin County helped save several lives this weekend during severe weather.

David Sutter is part of a team that helped save five of the seven people in Franklin County who needed rescuing this weekend due to flooding and swift waters.

“We supported the volunteer fire departments that actually did the rescue. We were there to support the firemen….We work really well together,” Sutter said.

He is one of about 30 people on team -- all are volunteers.

"I was brought up in the outdoors. My mom and dad went hiking and camping and that sort of thing and I just love it,” Sutter said. “And one of the best things I can think of to do is to use the skills that I've gathered throughout the years to help others."

Sutter said the volunteers have a wide range of backgrounds and other jobs, including firefighters, engineers, and a pastor. But no matter what their background -- they must be a team player.

"We don't really like to have somebody that has a very alpha attitude,” he said. “We like to work as a team. And of course, one of the things we have to do is keep our heads about ourselves so we need somebody that is very skilled and patient."

Although saving lives can be stressful, Sutter said he uses his challenges as an opportunity to persevere.

"I think it's a calling, and I believe with a calling -- you're given the opportunity to put up with a lot of stress and look at it from a positive perspective at all times,” he said. “So I've never one time wanted to quit. There's been times where I’ve had to talk myself out of a difficult situation, but I’ve never had a quitting attitude.”

He said the team prepares all of its equipment in advance so they're always ready to help.

The Franklin County Search and Rescue team has been in operation since 2002.