A man who has made an impact on his community as the head of a life-saving organization has been named the Outstanding Citizen for 2012 by the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Scott Allred, the captain of the North Big Horn Search and Rescue squad, was honored at Saturday night’s annual community banquet held at the Lovell Community Center.
“Scott is our captain, and it’s a pleasure to work with him,” said presenter Ben Snyder, a member of the chamber’s board of directors, the master of ceremonies for the evening and also a member of the search and rescue squad. “I’ve had the opportunity to be associated with Scott on the search and rescue team, and he’s a great man to be associated with.”
Allred is in his 13th year as captain of the squad. He first became involved in civic service as a volunteer with the Colorado Civil Air Patrol in the early 1980s. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1986-90, he moved to Lovell in December of 1990. He had been coming to Lovell for years after his folks, Don and Ferne Holt, bought a ranch on Crystal Creek east of Lovell.
He has been a member of the search and rescue squad since 1995 and was first elected first sergeant in 1997, working with Captain Dennis Woodward, then was elected lieutenant later that year and captain in 1999, taking office in January of 2000.
He also started representing Big Horn County Search and Rescue at Wyoming Search and Rescue Association meetings and in 2008 was elected vice president of the statewide organization and the next year was appointed interim president when the current president retired. He was elected president for his own term in February of 2010.
Asked what he enjoys about the search and rescue squad, Allred said the squad’s work is very meaningful.
“After seeing a family reunited with a loved one who was missing, it does something to you. It just pulls you in,” Allred said. “You just feel good. You want to help, especially if someone is in distress.”
But serving on the search and rescue squad isn’t for everyone, he said. It’s not just a 24-7 job, it’s a 24-7-365 job.
“I’ve never received a convenient search call,” he said. “I’m speaking for my whole team. We all drop everything and go. My family is used to me – in the middle of something – just getting up and leaving. Since I’ve been on the squad we’ve never refused a mission.
“We typically get called late in the game because the parties involved with someone who is lost search for them first. So it’s usually late at night. It’s like a fireman. You can’t decide when a fire will happen.”
There’s no compensation. Service is totally volunteer, although the squad is covered by workers compensation through the county while on a mission.
The squad meets once a month and incorporates training into each monthly meeting, including first aid, search management, the Incident Command System, GPS training, map reading, and the like. There are also two major training exercises each year, with the fall exercise including a family picnic.
There are currently 35 members of the north squad who are willing, at the drop of a hat, to “leave their families and put themselves in harm’s way so others can live,” Allred said.
The key to serving on the squad is not only having an understanding family but an understanding boss and/or company to work for.
“I’ve got an outstanding company (Wyoming Lime Producers),” Allred said. “They back me 100 percent and support me in this endeavor. They give me time off without penalty for attending search and rescue missions or town council functions.”
Allred was elected to the Lovell Town Council in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.
Noting the theme of the evening: Support Your Local Teams, Allred said he is a member of two fine teams in the search and rescue and the town council.
“I’m so proud to be their leader,” he said of the search and rescue squad, adding, “I’m proud of the team that is Lovell.”
By David Peck