Friday, May 2, 2014

Honoring Art Cook, Mesa County Search & Rescue


The following is verbatim, posted with permission, a wonderful summary of a Mesa County man who gave 55 years (and still going) to volunteering with Mesa County Search & Rescue Control, Inc. We could not have captured this history of Art any better and would be remiss to not share with all of Mesa County. Enjoy the read...

At noon on Wednesday, 12-March-2014, dozens of people gathered in the training room of the Mesa County Sheriffs Office.  Purpose of the gathering was to honor the almost sixty years of service by Art Cook with Mesa County Search & Rescue Control. Art was coaxed down by Ken Sanders under the pretense of signing some separation papers and was extremely surprised by the standing ovation he received upon entering the training room. In attendance were several members of Art’s family, friends, members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and many members of the various teams that make up the volunteers of Mesa County Search & Rescue. Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey presented art with the plaque on his left and listed just some of Art’s accomplishments during those 50+ years of service. Among those accomplishments are:

1958 — Started with the dive/swift water team known as the Colorado River Skippers

1966 — SARC official formed with Art as one of the “charter” members

1985 — SARC began using ATVs for search & rescue missions

1987/1988 — Search & Rescue ATV team officially formed

2001 to 2005 — Art served as president of SARC

2001 — Art named Lion’s Club Hometown Hero

2002 — Art was first coordinator of the Tag-A-Tot program

2010 — Art received the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Lifetime Achievement Award

After the presentation by Sheriff Hilkey, Ken Sanders, Search & Rescue Control ATV Team Leader, presented Art with the plaque on his right, a gift from his fellow ATV team members. Many stories and anecdotes were shared by those who have worked with Art over these many years. One theme that was evident is that his knowledge and expertise will be sorely missed in the future due to his familiarity with the Mesa county area. Following the presentations, a luncheon was enjoyed by those in attendance followed by the cutting of a special cake prepared for the occasion. While we may not see Art out on an active Search & Rescue mission in the future, he will still attend the occasional ATV Team meeting and offer the benefit of his knowledge whenever possible.

Thank you, Art, for your years of service. They are unparalleled in the annals of volunteerism in Mesa County.

Thank You,
--Jim Reed