Mike and Brenda Perreira were honored at a retirement luncheon Aug. 2 for their 13 years of service to the Madera County Sheriff Department’s Search & Rescue team.
Sheriff Jay Varney honored the Perreiras, along with Ron Vargaus, for their years of service as Madera Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers, saying “these three demonstrated and embodied the Search and Rescue motto, ‘So others may live.’”
The Perreiras are a husband and wife team who ran the basic SAR Academy for many years. On top of the basic academy, both served on the Mounted Team, the 4X4 Team, and were both team leaders to the sheriff's Operation Lost and Found (OLF) Program. OLF helps reunite people suffering from medical illness that affects their memory with loved ones when they wander from home.
“We’d like to thank everyone for attending our retirement luncheon and for our achievement awards and plaques,” Mike told the gathering. “It meant a lot to both of us that you would spend that much of your day to be here with us.”
Mike said he and his wife enjoyed the 13 years on the Search & Rescue team, but circumstances have changed, and so it is time for them to move on.
“The searches were gratifying but our training and the ability and opportunity to train and lead others was the highlight of our careers on this team,” Mike added. “The assistants and cooperation by dozens of MADSAR volunteers were essential to any success we both had.”
Mike and Brenda also served as co-chairs of the Mountain Area Toys for Tots Christmas Toy Drive for 12 years.
Vargaus has been part of the SAR team for about 10 years, giving his talents to many specialty teams such as the SAR Overhead Management Team and Mounted Horse Team. He also gave a lot of time to the SAR Academy.
The trio received commendations from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Service, Law Enforcement Branch, for their service signed by Chief Mark Pazin and Deputy Chief Matthew Scharper, the State S&R Coordinator.