Barry Barnes: ‘A valuable service’

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To the editor:

Hello, my name is Barry Barnes. I’m the captain of Moffat County Search and Rescue.

I just finished reading the article, “Surviving Subzero” of Jan. 5.

I thought the article was poorly written and discredited Moffat County Search and Rescue. We are a professional group of trained volunteers with an excellent reputation that provide a valuable service to the community of Moffat County.

The article went from having the right survival gear to leading people to believe that because they are good riders, they are better off self-rescuing, sending a message to the public that instead of calling Search and Rescue (because they need babysitting), it’s better to try to just rescue yourself.

I spoke with Mr. Johnson after reading the article. He assured me he was misquoted in this article. This kind of reporting is damaging to any search and rescue group.

I was involved prior to calling out search and rescue and I felt comfortable with the skilled riders that were already searching. But when too much time had elapsed, I then called in search and rescue to help in the efforts to find lost parties because the longer someone is exposed to the elements, the more dangerous the situation becomes.

When someone is lost or stranded in the mountains or back roads of Moffat County, they can count on Moffat County Search and Rescue to come find them.

Barry Barnes

Moffat County Search and Rescue captain

(Editor’s note: After receiving Mr. Barnes’ letter, the Craig Daily Press reviewed the audio recording of the interview with Irin Johnson. That recording confirmed the quote used in “Surviving Subzero” was accurate. Mr. Johnson also confirmed via telephone he was quoted accurately.)

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