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The ranks of Calaveras County´s search and rescue personnel grew by a dozen following special training conducted recently on the North Fork of the Stanislaus River.

According to a story published this week by the Calaveras Enterprise, Rescue 3 International, a training agency, conducted white water drills May 30 through June 2 for the Ebbetts Pass Search and Rescue Team and the unit from the Calaveras County Sheriff´s Department.

The Ebbetts Pass team is a nonprofit group that works hand-in-hand with the Sheriff´s Department to rescue injured, trapped or lost boaters and swimmers.

The training project allowed Ebbetts Pass to add nine new members to its team, swelling its number to 13. The Sheriff´s Department added three trained rescuers to its ranks.

In addition to working in Calaveras and Alpine counties, local search and rescue personnel also are available for state and national, large-scale water-related emergencies, such as floods.

Each crew member needs to be outfitted with a considerable amount of protective and rescue gear, which can cost more than $1,000 per person.

The Northern California Power Agency helps defray costs and paid the tuition for all participants in the program — a total of nearly $4,000, according to deputy Tim Sturm. NCPA, a consortium of cities, owns and operates the upper portions of the Utica water system, including Alpine, Union and Utica reservoirs. The agency has also provided specialized equipment for team members.

For more information on the Ebbetts Pass Search and Rescue team, call 743-5123, or contact sheriff´s detective Tim Sturm at 795-3958.

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