Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Detective Robert McEwen Retires From Fresno County SAR Team

Dale Matson
Deputy Robert McEwen

Click On Photographs For A Larger View

Cover Of Seeking The Lost: Stories Of Search And Rescue
Robert Facing The Camera

I met Robert when I began as a civilian mountaineering unit volunteer attached to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team about ten years ago. When I think of the searches I have participated in, Robert has been my unit leader more often than anyone else. I am glad for that because he has been a joy to work with. I only wish I had his navigational skills. He has always been patient with team members who could not move through the brush with the same speed.

Robert has been a “Go to” deputy and when there was a callout, I always expected to see him when we gathered together at the Command Post or some parking lot before we caravanned to another area for a mutual aid search. Robert always has a positive attitude and team spirit. I have seen him continue searching with a torn groin muscle and once with an eye injury caused by a tree branch. Robert is a wilderness MacGyver completely at home day after day in the woods. If I were in a survival situation, he would be the one person I would trust to get us out.

Robert is a man of faith who always respected me as a clergy person. He would sometimes swear and then say immediately, “Sorry Padre”. This did not make me immune to his quick humor however. I ran into him in a clothing store once and pointed to a shirt that I liked with lots of pockets. He asked if I might have trouble remembering which pocket I had my nitroglycerin in if I were to have a heart attack.

Robert was wounded in the line of duty and received the U.S. Marshall’s purple heart in 2014. He also received the medal of valor from Governor Brown prior to that.

I am sad that this ends a chapter in both of our lives but am blessed to know Robert. He is also a humble man that would never promote himself. I am honored to write this as a partial record of his service. Here are a few photographs I have taken of Robert over the years on searches. I used one for my book, Seeking The Lost: Stories Of Search And Rescue. I used another for my fictional account of a search, The Search For Maggie Caslon.  

Yosemite Mutual Aid Search

Search Out Of Florence Lake

 Robert In Eagle One Wishon Search

Madera County Mutual Aid Search

 Dinkey Creek Search

Robert Downloading GPS Data For Search Teams

No comments:

Post a Comment