In a continuation of Member’s stories, this one is from Ryan Bentley. Ryan quickly became a trusted recovery member and has since helped us shape our organization.
My story that brings me to Colorado 4x4 Rescue and recovery goes a little like this:
I came across the facebook page in summer of 16’. I saw what they were doing and was intrigued by it, but at the time didn’t have a trail capable rig, so the group slipped my mind until one day, when I was testing out my new mods on my truck on Yankee Hill. I passed a truck that was sitting at the “shooting range” that had a sticker on it. I remembered the group, and looked into it again when I got home. I followed the group for about a year, before I decided to give a recovery a shot.
My 1st recovery was 8-1-17 on Hamelin Gulch recovering a rolled ATV about 450’ off the side of the trail. I thought I could be an asset on this recovery as I had a pickup truck to haul the ATV out, which was one of the missing pieces of equipment needed. I was right. Surprisingly, I was asked to lead the recovery, being assured by Jeff that there was plenty of experience on the recovery to lend a hand. I was very nervous, but Jeff was proved right. I feel I grabbed the bull by the horns and did what I could. I learned SOO much in that one recovery between the recovery etiquette, proper use of equipment, new recovery strategies and how to overcome my nervousness of being on my 1st recovery and not really knowing anyone. I felt I was immediately accepted into the group and shown the correct ways, right off the bat. I really liked how everything was done with safety in mind, I had been on recoveries prior to this with buddies that would just throw a chain on something and full throttle. This recovery showed me there is a safe & efficient way of doing it. When we finished the recovery and got home I immediately signed up to be a member. I remember talking Marissa’s ear off for a week (well really all the time even up till) about the organization and how great it was.
From that point on, I made it a point to go through both training classes and go on every recovery I possibly could. I’ve been on about 20 recoveries (feels like a lot more) and 2 SAR-ES Missions. I have also taken all other classes that have been available, and am signed up for many more.
In October I heard the announcement of the Search and Rescue Emergency Support team. This intrigued me because I’ve always dreamed of being on a search and rescue team, but was unable to join, mostly due to the physical side of things. I haven’t had the greatest health having a blood clotting disorder I have lost about 60% lung capacity so doing grid searches on foot would be an issue for me. The SAR-ES team is mainly vehicle based, and geared at helping the traditional SAR teams get into areas they normally cant, or have a great deal of difficulty doing so. I felt this was a perfect spot for me so I attended my 1st SAR-ES training that month and was accepted to be a MIT (Member in training) I was SOOOO excited I could hardly stand it.
From that point on, I knew I needed to be more involved and do everything I possibly could for this organization. In a short period of time it has brought me so much joy. I love off-roading and helping others. Some say this was truly my calling and I have to agree with them. The team work and camaraderie is truly wonderful. Not only have I met many teammates but I’ve met lots of new friends and wheeling buddies. Everyone in this group is like minded, and willing to help one another in any way possible.
11-21-17 I joined the Dispatch team. I underwent the training and started shadowing other dispatchers. I dispatched my 1st recovery solely on my own in January and have been answering the call ever since, along with the rest of our other dispatchers. The dispatch team really is the backbone of this organization. We are the ones that answer the calls at all times of the day or night to someone on the other end likely having the worst day ever. It brings a lot of pride when we can answer that phone, and turn someone’s day around for them and setup a team to go out and help. We work with other 1st responders and emergency dispatch teams on a daily basis. This has helped me in and outside of the organization with my communication skills especially with law enforcement. We have been called the unpaid professionals, and that we truly are.
All in all, this fantastic organization is a HUGE part of my life. My amazing girlfriend Marissa has recently joined as a member as well. Since we’ve been together I’ve brought her into the off-road world, and she loves it. I would like to thank her for her patience and acceptance of me making so much time for this organization.
Ryan, we thank you and Marissa for all you have given this organization and the 4wd community.
If this sounds like something you would enjoy. Join us. We emphasize training and teamwork and provide both. Please explore our membership link on our website, and see what level appeals to you most.
Feel free to contact the BOD with further questions or if you would like a representative come speak to your organization or club.