The LCSTARs page was established to recognize the achievements of team members who have gone above and beyond the necessary requirements to be a professional search and rescue person. They are truly an inspiration to other team members. It is also about getting to know our fellow team members and getting a peek at what makes them tick and some insight into the diverse kinds of people that join the SAR community and what they find so captivating about their experience.
by Julie Rasmussen -- Published Fall 1993
An unpretentious manner, dedication and strong-held beliefs describe some of this man's attributes that are revealed as he speaks. He's drawn to a myriad interests. In the process of living his own
He enriches the lives of others less fortunate. He has developed a perceptive ability to see people and cultures as they truly are. He lives experientially. What follows about Brad Finch is, unfortunately, a highly condensed version of a captivating interview. lo 1963 he was born in Laramie, Wyoming where he lived until the 3rd .grade. After graduating from High School in Grand Junction he was back to Laramie for an undergraduate degree in Music Education at the University of Wyoming.
With a milepost behind him, a Peace Corps assignment as a special education teacher in Tunisia was in the works. The year was 1986. In the neighboring Libya, Khadafy was terrorizing the nation and Peace Corps officials decided the danger of sending Brad was too great. One door closes, one opens.
Another opportunity to teach presented Itself. On an impoverished, Isolated New Mexico Indian reservation near Arizona, Brad spent a school year as a music instructor for middle and high school band and choir students. Stark reality awakened him to an urban school setting amidst the rural, desert community. Navajo children were learning the Anglo ways. The native language was not taught to the young; all spoke English. He found it somewhat awkward teaching classical Sousa Marches to kids enculturated in country western and rock music. After that year, working more closely with people became a focus as well as the idea of working toward music therapy. But, that's later. Africa awaits.
Kenya was the destination for a solo excursion. While there, Brad climbed Mt. Kenya and biked the central countryside through coffee and tea plantations. Game parks didn't allow bikes so he traveled the area via rented car for three days. The car broke down during the trek and he nursed it back to Nairobi. Without converted currency to pay for auto repairs he bartered, using tennis shoes and T -shirts, to "pay" for repairs. De• spite the exchange of goods, he arrived back in Nairobi with no brakes.
Back in the states in 1987 he was drawn to Winter Park. Here be joined Grand County Search and Rescue. He was employed as the adaptive ski shop manager for the handicap program.
In 1989 he moved to Ft. Collins to pursue graduate school. His coursework in music therapy Is now finished. Thesis work lies ahead. In 1990 he joined LCSAR and is currently Rescue and Search 2 rated.
Goals include attaining Rescue Leader and Snow Leader rating. Of the team, Brad says he values the leadership skills he's acquired and likes the constant application of field skills, physical and menial. He notes that team members have a respect for each other with little concern for gender and ego issues. As a leader, the biggest challenge is knowing people's skills, thinking of all the options and getting things done quickly and efficiently.
For the past two summers Brad has been a raft guide on the Poudre River. He has guided trips in many western states, floating up to 3000 miles In a couple of summers. Two trips have been spent In the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River with the most recent trip just last year on his honeymoon with Karen.
Brad and Karen have been married one year this past September. They met in 1987 in an outdoor adventure program for people with disabilities through Colorado Easter Seals.
Much of the couple's work interest centers around experiential learning and adventure-based counseling. They would like to start a community-based service in Laramie as coordinators of volunteer positions in the community. Included would be a ropes course and out' outdoor adventure program.
In the meanwhile, Brad is starting a new job at CSU. He recently accepted a position to assist faculty with integrating volunteer services into the curriculum. Congratulations on the new job, Brad. They couldn't have chosen a more qualified candidate!