Search and rescue missions a costly but important service - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Search and rescue missions a costly but important service

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Great amounts of manpower and equipment go to find missing persons. Great amounts of manpower and equipment go to find missing persons.
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Thursday, two teenage brothers went missing in Killen. Despite leaving a note saying they were going ‘into the wilderness,' they left no specific details about where they were going. That afternoon, rescue crews combed the area looking for them, before eventually discovering them at another home.

Search and rescue missions do not come cheap. Between emergency management agencies and Sheriff's Department response, Thursday's search cost Lauderdale County nearly $2,000.

That figure only covers the overtime for first responders and fuel. It does not factor in the costs to state troopers and the marine police, nor Killen Police and their volunteer fire department, and all the resources they used. Another figure to consider: the fuel and manpower it took to operate Limestone County's helicopter.

On top of the equipment costs, community members and other volunteers also took time to help with the search effort – taking time away from their families.

Sheriff Ronnie Willis said although search and rescue missions can be costly, you can never be too careful when it comes to missing children. "You cannot put a price on a child's life, and we try to treat everybody the same. There's not a deputy or police officer or EMA official or anybody that wouldn't get out and look for a child, no matter what time it is," Willis said.

Again, the two teenagers are home safe following Thursday's search. Local authorities encourage parents to keep an open line of communication between them and their children to prevent similar situations from happening.

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