(WKRG Bay Minette, AL)
When it comes to search and rescue—search and rescue aren’t the hard parts–it’s something else. James Phillips says many times finding people and funding can be hard. He’s been a member for a long time. They have eight boats at NBSSR. He just wishes they had more people to help.
“Our membership is down we were consistently for years around 40 members now we’re down to 18,” said James Phillips. It’s part of a larger trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported 2013 marked a 10 year low for Americans volunteering. The nationwide rate is at 25.4%.
“It goes for a lot of organizations church or wherever, it’s a decline in volunteering,” said Phillips. North Baldwin has been part of some high profile operations including the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Most of their assignments are more mundane, like this recent neighborhood search for a Spanish Fort man who just forgot to tell his family he was going out of town. Whatever the job, Phillips said they put their all into it.
“Most of the people in this organization foot their own bill, they pay for their own equipment they drive their own vehicles you see we have one truck,” said Phillips. Despite the challenges, members are confident they this group will survive because it’s a personal passion.
“It’s for the families I have skills that can help find missing, lost persons helping people are what we are all about,” said Chief Luther Peebles.