Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Alex Cabrero ReportingMany people don't know who or what the Civil Air Patrol is, but the group made news earlier this week when it found the wreckage of a small airplane in Tooele County.
Search and rescue is what the Civil Air Patrol is best known for, but they also do lots of other things. They have an aerospace education program, a cadet program and, as mentioned, the emergency services program.
When word came that a small plane crashed in Tooele County late Thursday night, one of the first calls for help was to the Civil Air Patrol. When the call came in the middle of the night, Doug Frix had no idea what it was for.
Lt. Doug Frix, Utah Civil Air Patrol: "Usually it's just an emergency locator transmitter that's gone off because a plane was shaking in a hangar somewhere, and we go and turn it off."
This mission, though, was serious. A small plane had crashed in Tooele County, and Frix was needed to help look for it.
Doug Frix: "The fraternity of pilots, if one of us goes down, we've got the rest of us rallying trying to find them or help them."
A few hours later, Utah's Civil Air Patrol found the wreckage. There wasn't any good news on the three people who were inside, but at least they were found.
Doug Frix: "It was nice to be able to find it as quickly as we could, get some answers to the family who were sitting and waiting for some information."
Col. Donna Todd, Civil Air Patrol: "We did it. We were able to do it. We were able to provide the family with some closure."
Search and rescue is just one of many things the Civil Air Patrol does. Here in Utah, they're always ready, whether it be to look for a lost hiker or to give firefighters a wider view of wildfires.
Craig Teerlink, Civil Air Patrol: "It's personal satisfaction for me."
Craig Teerlink has been with CAP for years.
Craig Teerlink: "I think it's a tremendous opportunity for people to serve, and I think people of all walks of life find satisfaction in serving and contributing."
These guys and girls aren't getting paid for what they do either; no, Civil Air Patrol is all just volunteer.
Donna Todd: "We do it because we love it."
It's a love that's hard to define but easy to share.
Craig Teerlink: "It's my way to contribute to the community."
The team trains all the time for different missions, and they're always looking for more members. You also don't have to be a pilot to be in the Civil Air Patrol; you can work in spotting, ground communications, even support. Just remember, this is a volunteer group.