BCSO Search and Rescue Team

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When there's an emergency like Thursday night's search in Washington County, a number of law enforcement agencies and first responders quickly assemble to do what they can.

Although the Washington County Sheriff's Office was directing the search, it was a K-9 unit from the Washington County Correctional Institute that found the kids.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office is trying to organize a search and rescue team to respond to similar situations.

Sheriff's officials had been looking for volunteers to help search for lost children and elderly people who become disoriented and get lost. The group would also help search for evidence at crime scenes.

Organizers say they've had an overwhelming response and have an abundance of volunteers, but they can always use more, especially those with specific skills like SCUBA diving or military training.

People from every walk of life can get involved, even retirees who can't get out and about can work the phones and make callouts.

Jimmy Menchew with BCSO Search and Rescue said, "Some people are not gonna wanna work on the water, some people are not gonna wanna walk through the woods, but they can still come out and be an asset because there's different things going on. You gotta have a support staff providing everything from gas, food, water."

You must be at least 18 years old and pass a criminal background check to be a volunteer. Call the Bay County Sheriff's Office for more details.