David Vanbuskirk, a Search & Rescue office with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was helping to hoist a stranded hiker to a rescue helicopter on Mt. Charleston when his harness became detached and he fell to his death. The hiker remained attached and was lifted to safety.
Vanbuskirk was just 36, and had been Metro for 14 years. He was a well-respected member of the Search & Rescue team and had come to the aid of dozens of people in need during his six years with the Search & Rescue Team. Over the course of Vanbuskirk’s 13-year career, he often served as a public ambassador for Metro’s Search and Rescue Section, appearing at meet-ups of local hiking groups and at the Henderson Rotary Club to talk about the unit and how members went about their jobs.
In honor of Dave Vanbuskirk’s service and sacrifice, R&R Partners came up with a creative way to raise funds for the fallen hero. At R&R’s recent Cool Ranch Family Fair, a late summer BBQ for employees and their families and friends, we set up a dunk tank in the rear parking lot and planted company brass in the hot seat. Among the noteworthy trips down under were Don Turley, Michelle Mader, Dan Gilbert and Partner King (in a full-on dog costume). Perhaps the highlight, though, was Mader’s 8-year old daughter Lily and her major league pitching arm connecting twice on Partner Snow. As he put it, “She was deadly.”
The final tally from this popular bit of catharsis was $621, which Billy V. matched for a total of $1,342. All funds were donated to “Friends of Metro,” the college fund set up in honor of Officer Vanbuskirk.