Seth Sawyer has proudly volunteered as a first responder at his local fire department since he was 16. His work as the captain of the Southwest Virginia Mountain Rescue Group over the past four years has helped grow the volunteer base from eight active members to nearly 45 members, making the group one of the best equipped to assist with search and rescue missions as dispatched by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management across the Commonwealth.
The surrounding community in Blacksburg needed a trained, knowledgeable, progressive and experienced search and rescue team to be on call when emergencies happen. Seth provided the means for the group to become more sustainable and attract others to serve on search and rescue missions in this mountainous region, developing training manuals and offering positive encouragement to his crew.
While ensuring adequate training opportunities through his relentless pursuit of adequate funding, Seth also serves as a Stress First Aid instructor for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He developed a stress first aid Peer Support program in which he trains search and rescue members to recognize when they may have a stress injury and how to ensure their own well-being, and that of their fellow responders, when working under duress in the midst of a traumatic experience. This is the first program of its kind designed for search and rescue professionals, underscoring the concern for the group that Seth possesses. Seth also provides First Aid training and certification to the community at no cost in order to build the resilience of the area when it comes to facing medical emergencies.
For his commitment to volunteering, taking the initiative to make his community better prepared and building a mission-ready group of volunteers, Seth Sawyer is truly a Daily Point of Light.