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King County Sheriff
Mitzi Johanknecht

58 years of service: Search and Rescue volunteer honored at state conference


With the start of the spring hiking season and a long beautiful summer upon us, join us in recognizing Jon Wartes, a person who understands what service to the community is all about. Jon has rescued countless numbers of outdoor adventurers who find themselves in trouble. Come out and help thank him and many like him at the WA search and Rescue Conference this weekend.


As we enter into hiking season, help us honor Jon Wartes, a longtime volunteer for the King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) program. He is still rescuing injured hikers and was on scene with his son last month where he coordinated an airlift for an injured woman on top of Mailbox Peak.


Jon started as a volunteer at 14 years old and has over 58 years of service with KCSAR. He has also been a King County Reserve Deputy since July 11, 1969. 


“This program saves lives. The time and energy Jon has put in over the years both as a Reserve Deputy and search and rescue volunteer has had a tremendous impact,” said Sheriff Urquhart, who will be speaking at the conference. "Jon has taught every level of KCSAR advanced leadership, authored manuals, and touched countless lives."


If you have ever been up to Melakwa Lake or Mailbox Peak you have seen Jon’s work. He has rescued hikers who have gotten lost, identified problem areas on trails, and coordinated the installation of reflective diamonds and signage to reduce the needs for future searches.


When:  9:00 – 12:30 Open House and 12:30 – 2:30 Banquet and Awards

Where:  Remlinger Farms, 32610 NE 32nd ST, Carnation, WA