16 Feb 2017

Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer of the Year

Author: David Mance  /  Categories: Campus  / 

We know Dr. Bill Hatch as the academic coordinator and professor for the Physician Assistant Educational Program at Heritage University, but now he's receiving recognition for another accomplishment as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year for the Yakima County Sheriff Office's Search and Rescue unit.

On February 14, 2017 during a Yakima County Commissioners meeting, Yakima County Sheriff Brian Winter presented Bill with a plaque for his work as a team leader for the Central Washington Mountain Rescue Unit. According to the sheriff, Bill has worked hard to build a smooth working relationship between the different SAR units, he has built team unity among them all and they now train together. The CWMR unit has increased their training with the Yakima Training Center's “Dustoff” helicopter unit. This allows the Army to quickly gather volunteers at the Sheriff's Office and transport them to an incident, saving precious hours of response time. Dr. Hatch is also active in recruiting new members for his team, with eight CWMR members going through the SAR academy.

“Dr. Hatch is an exceptional leader to his team and has shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes so others may live,” wrote Sheriff Winter in his letter about Bill. “As an organization, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Bill Hatch involved in our County Search and Rescue unit. It is also truly a pleasure to have Bill as part of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.”

The recognition came as shock to Hatch, who was told only the day before that he was going to receive a volunteer award but without any specifics. “The fact that I volunteer and train with a group of dedicated individuals with specific talents that are ready to respond at any time of the day or night is an energizing boost for me,” said Bill. “There is no better reward than seeing family and friends re-joined with the lost or injured person. For me, my reward is knowing that I am constructively giving back and serving the community in which I live.”

Congratulations Bill, we are proud of your work with Search and Rescue and the Physician Assistant Educational Program!


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