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October 2022 Volunteer of the Month - Yankton County Search & Rescue

In the more than 30 years since its inception, Yankton County Search and Rescue (YCSAR) has been deployed to hundreds of calls including missing persons, medical emergencies, high angle rope rescue, above and underwater search and recovery, search guidance and support for other public service agencies, and flood protection and mitigation efforts.

Volunteers of YCSAR save lives, searching for the missing and injured on land, in water, and with drones from the air. It's more than a mission, it's a commitment for these volunteers to bring missing people back home and reunite them with their family. No matter what the mission, when seconds count, this volunteer team is ready to help.

Small cities and villages cannot sustain the public safety programs and services provided to its residents and visitors without the help of dedicated, well-trained volunteers. Each person’s reasons for volunteering may vary, but the benefits to the community are immense.

United Way of Greater Yankton was proud to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the Yankton County Search and Rescue volunteers, for their year-round impact to our community, with the October 2022 Volunteer of the Month Award.

We asked Amanda Jackson, a YCSAR team member, to share more about the organization’s efforts throughout the greater Yankton community.

The YCSAR team is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers who have come together to create a safer community. The team has taken a number of specialized public safety courses which help them perform their duties to the best of their abilities. The team consists of paramedics, EMTs, emergency medical responders, search and rescue canines, public safety divers, and certified rope technicians ready to respond to any and all emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Yankton County Search and Rescue is operating under Yankton County Emergency Management since July 2014 and receives modest funding from Yankton County. YCSAR was founded as and remains a not-for-profit organization. A material portion of the funding for training and equipment is generated through member-driven fundraising efforts. YCSAR relies on the generosity of local and surrounding businesses and charitable agencies.

YCSAR promotes safety in the community in several ways, like the loaner life jacket stations at many of the boat docks and beaches, participating in water safety days, and showing off our gear at local community outreach events. We've assisted with 48 medical calls and 7 searches this year. The team has contributed over 600 work hours this year between training and responding to incidents.

Volunteers are the backbone of YCSAR. The team consists of more than 9 divers, 12 rope rescue technicians, 2 canines, and 20 first responders.

Thank you to the volunteers of Yankton County Search and Rescue for your extraordinary efforts.

To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate someone for United Way’s Volunteer of the Month Award, please visit, email, or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.

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