HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Washington County Search and Rescue volunteers can now accept payment after the county commission passed a new incentive called ‘pay per call’.

“This idea started back in 2020 when we had 174 rescues,” says Sergeant Darrell Cashin of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Cashin, that was a record year for the nearly 80 volunteers responsible for just over 2,400 square feet of ground, canyons, water, even air in Washington County.

“They were actually losing money at work, taking time away from their families, and so this idea, this program to give them some sort of compensation to show up, and do a rescue to help offset their losses,” he says.

Pay will range from 50 to 100 dollars per rescue, depending on experience and the type of call, but now everyone has to accept the fee. If they don’t it goes back to the county, Cashin says.

“This program is not mandatory, there are people on SAR, it’s an optional thing, if they want to participate or not, but there are people on SAR that say ‘I don’t want to do that I don’t do it for the money’ and that’s their choice to make,” he says.

Cashin says the average age of a SAR member is 40 years old and most of the team just wants to be there for their community; but rescuers do appreciate the county’s incentive.