Dear Editor:

East Penn Technical Search and Rescue wants to thank all emergency service organizations and law enforcement agencies that have supported us in the past with our mission. We especially want to thank the Mattioli Foundation for their financial support, which we received in late January. With the support from the Mattioli Foundation, we are now able to continue our lifesaving services. We also want thank the Stroud Township Volunteer Fire Department in Monroe County for allowing us to store our Inflatable Raft at their Cherry Valley Substation, the Carbon County Commissioners, as well as Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Nalesnik for allowing us to store our equipment trailer at their facility during 2009.

We are dedicated to working cooperatively with all emergency services and law enforcement agencies to locate lost persons and to provide extensively trained personnel for evacuation or technical rescue operations when necessary. We have provided our services to the residents of Monroe and Carbon counties for the past 17 years free of charge.

Our team members give much of their own time training and own money for personal equipment to meet state and federal guidelines. So our unit depends upon donations and contributions from the public to remain operational. We are very proud to have some of the highest trained and certified SAR personnel in the state of Pennsylvania. That does not include our three certified canines through the Pennsylvania Police Canine Association.

Over the past several years, our annual fundraising events have proven to be sufficient for us to operate and not have to ask for any assistance financially. At this time, we would like to ask the public for their help by sending us a monetary donation of whatever they can afford to the address listed below.

We would also like to ask all boroughs, cities, towns and/or townships within Monroe and Carbon counties for their help. If each could afford to send us a small $75 to $100 monetary donation, which would be more than sufficient to pay for all of our insurances, taking that financial burden off our organization.

Contributions made to EPTSAR, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible when computing income and estate tax.

Past searches by East Penn Technical Search and Rescue in Carbon and Monroe counties include:

Missing Alzheimer's disease subject search, Saylorsburg, Monroe County 11/09

Body Recovery at Mauch Chunk Lake, Carbon County 10/09

2 Missing Teens in Indian Mountain Lake Estates, Carbon County 09/09

Search in Valley View Estates, Carbon County 02/09

Nescopeck State Park for missing hunter, Carbon County 10/08

Jim Thorpe campground search for hiker, Carbon County 10/08

Search for 4 year old boy in Towamensing Twp., Carbon County- 10/08

ELT/Plane Search at Mauch Chunk Lake, Carbon County 07/08

Search for 11 year old boy in Weatherly, Carbon County 07/08

Search in Bushkill for 53 year old male subject, Monroe County 03/08

Incidents of National Significance include: East Penn had members at "ground zero" during 9/11/01. Other team members assisted at the Fresh Kill Landfill in Staten sifting through rubble for body parts.

With this economy, we are still in need of additional financial assistance.

Equipment needed for Federal Swiftwater Rescue compliance includes:

3 Drysuits for water and ice rescue $1,500.00

2 River Rescue Boards $800.00

4 Cold Weather Exposure Jackets $700.00

1 600' Spool Rescue Rope $575.00

1 Multi-Gas Meter $1,800.00

2 High Line Rescue Pulleys $375.00

3 Class V Personal Flotation Devices $475.00

1 Bullhorn $150.00

1 Line Throwing System $500.00

As mentioned above, and one idea that we feel is the easiest, most appropriate and financially feasible, is to have all boroughs, cities, towns and/or townships within Monroe and Carbon counties send a $75 $100 monetary donation yearly.

During our 17 years of existence we have been in almost every single jurisdiction in both counties. This approach would take a large financial burden off our organization almost immediately and would help us to continue to provide our lifesaving services free of charge to all involved parties and agencies.

All donations should be mailed to: Chief Roger Tobias, East Penn Technical SAR, 219 Laurel Drive, Tobyhanna, Pa. 18466

For more information, call (570) 894-2929

Chief Roger Tobias

East Penn Technical Search and Rescue