Sierra Madre Library’s READ™ Campaign Features the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team

The Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team is a group of dedicated volunteers committed to saving lives in the wilderness and to outdoor safety education. In celebration of the Team’s 60th anniversary, the Library’s READ™ campaign honors the members by featuring SMSR on its third round of campaign posters and souvenir bookmarks.

Founded in 1951, the Sierra Madre Search & Rescue Team — the first search & rescue team formed in California — averages 20 members, many with more than 20 years of experience in wilderness search and rescue.  Responding to approximately 60 callouts each year, SMSR serves areas extending from Chantry Flats to Mt. Baldy, Mt. San Jacinto, and Mt. San Gorgonio, from to Baja California through the High Sierra and into northern California.

Sierra Madre citizens take great pride in SMSR.  All members are trained in mountaineering, search and man-tracking, high-angle rescue, specialized mountain rescue systems, communications, field navigation, technical rock and ice climbing, helitac techniques and survival skills, and are certified to the level of emergency medical technician (EMT) or higher;  members supply and maintain their own personal equipment.  The Team owns several fully equipped vehicles to Affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. as high-risk civilian volunteers and a member of the national Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team is financed solely by private contributions and receives no financial support from any tax funds. 

The READ™ campaign was created in 1985 by the American Library Association, and has proven immensely effective in promoting literacy among all age groups.  Comedian Bill Cosby was the first notable to appear on a poster; since then, more than 150 celebrities have donated their images for these posters, which convey the simple, but potent message: READ. 

Eager to collaborate with the Library on this poster, Larry Smith, President of SMSR, brought members of his team together to be pictured with their book selections in front of a rescue truck.  Eric Triplett, Vice President, said, “The partnership between SMSR and the Sierra Madre Library, both now and in the past, has been beneficial to both organizations. It has given the team the opportunity to interact with the community with preventative search and rescue programs at the Library, and it makes the community not only aware of wilderness safety but also that the Sierra Madre Library is a great resource for knowledge about the outdoors.”

Every three months throughout 2011, a new READ poster will honor a Sierra Madre resident active in the local community posing with a favorite books.  Souvenir bookmarks bearing the same design are available for takeaway at the Library, 440 West Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre. 626-355-7186.