Local Posse Comes to the Rescue
'We Ride So Others May Live'
The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Posse is a volunteer mounted wilderness search and rescue (SAR) team recognized as a state-certified team by the State of New Mexico. The Posse is not affiliated with the Sheriff's department but is a Mounted Search and Rescue group called upon by the New Mexico State Police (who handle all searches in the State of New Mexico) to assist in search and rescue operations. Sometimes it just requires a horse to get the job done. The horses must pass agility, soundness and obstacle tests to be included in the Posse. The goal of the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Posse is to provide trained teams of riders and horses to participate in wilderness searches for persons who are lost or injured.
Home based in Santa Fe, this group was formed in 1941, participating in searches throughout the state. Their motto is “We Ride So Others May Live”. Some Posse members are qualified in basic and advanced tracking. More than 25% of thier active team members have Amateur Radio Licenses. All gear and rescue equipment including posse horses are provided and maintained by the posse volunteer members. For years, The Posse has been assisting with the pilgrimage to Chimayo --where the faithful trek to the Sanctuario de Chimayo on Good Friday. The Posse usually patrols a section of CR 503 and the top portion of Juan Medina Road which drops into Chimayo and is the road where the sanctuary is located. Most years, the Posse keeps cars from parking in the emergency helicopter landing zone, and reminds people to walk against traffic on Juan Medina.
The Posse also acts as eyes and ears for emergency services in case of accidents and, if needed, to assist with evacuation. Typically 30,000 people walk into Chimayo from Santa Fe, Espanola and the surrounding areas. But you will also see Posse members ride in parades, participate in the rodeo grand entry, and manage parking for events on Museum Hill.
The Posse meets the first Wednesday of the month at 3213 Rodeo Road in Santa Fe. Funding for The Posse comes from donations and the posse members own pockets. For more information, to join or to donate http://santafesheriffsposse.org/ or email@example.com
Photo credit: Cam, and Kathy Olshefsky