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Texas Search and Rescue recruiting new volunteers

Photo credit: KEYE TV

Whenever there's a crisis in Central Texas, the group TEXSAR -- Texas Search and Rescue -- springs into action. Thursday night, TEXSAR is hosting an event to recruit new members. You don't need experience fighting floods or fires -- just a heart to help.

"This is something that you do because it comes from your heart and you want to truly help somebody," says Don Gentry who has been a TEXSAR member for three years.

"Texans helping Texans" is the simple -- yet important -- mission of every TEXSAR volunteer.

"We have a heart to want to go out and bring people home," he adds.

TEXSAR was on the ground for weeks following the Memorial Day Floods in Wimberley. Other volunteers were also trying to help in their own way. One of those people was Michelle Nations.

"I went with a bunch of friends -- and a thousand other people -- who felt called to help families find their missing loved ones," Nations recalls.

Wimberley is where Nations learned about TEXSAR. Six months later, she's a new member undergoing training.

"I will never look at trash and debris the same because you can use all kinds of things for interesting first aid techniques," she says.

TEXSAR members are educated in ground and swift water search, disaster relief and wildland fires. Nations says, no matter your skillset, there's a way to help. "If you're really interested in it and thinking you don't necessarily want to be out in flood waters rescuing people, there's some place that your skills could be utilized. You'd be surprised," she says.

The non-profit organization runs on donations and grants, but their volunteers are fueled by fulfillment each and every time they help.

"When you finish and job and you complete it and you take care of what needs to be done the rewards and satisfaction are super," says Gentry.

Thursday night at 7 p.m. TEXSAR is hosting a new member orientation for people interested in learning more about the group. The orientation is at Sunset Valley City Hall at 3205 Jones Road. You can RSVP through their Facebook event here.

TEXSAR never charges agencies requesting their help. That's one reason why they rely so heavily on donations and grants. To donate to TEXSAR click here.

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