By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) voted for HR 373, the Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act. This bipartisan bill will prevent bureaucratic roadblocks that prevent trained and experienced search and recovery groups from volunteering their time and resources to help locate missing individuals on federal lands.
This legislation requires the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to federal lands for individuals or groups acting in a not-for-profit capacity to carry out search and recovery missions. Additionally, this legislation eliminates the requirement that rescuers obtain a liability insurance policy as long as they release the federal government from liability. It also establishes local partnerships with Good Samaritan search and recovery organizations to easily mobilize individuals for missions so that families do not have to wait months.
Cook said, “When you live in a rural area surrounded by federal lands, it’s a sad reality that occasionally a member of the community will go missing and there are hundreds of thousands of acres of terrain that must be searched. Currently, bureaucrats can prevent groups from volunteering their time and resources to locate missing people. This important bill will cut through the red tape to let rescuers focus on saving lives.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.