By Jennifer McGraw

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – The Search and Rescue Team has been called out on a new mission, only this time it’s to rescue one of their own.

“He’s there when we need him and I think that we need to be there for him now,” said Tony Mazarakis, a team captain.

For the past 10 years, Steve Maricle has been an integral part of the team from rescues in the high Sierra to hikers lost in the heavily wooded forests and it’s all on a volunteer basis. 

“We are all passionate with what we do and we love our community,” Mazarakis said.

But now a bout of bad luck has landed Maricle in the hospital. It all started with a vehicle rollover in whiteout conditions where he lost all his equipment.

“That part of him that worked so hard to build up over the past 10 years disappeared and then to have an amplified by the heart problem, the pneumonia problem, the tree on the house problem,” Linda Colombo said who is another member of the team.

It takes major dedication to be a volunteer and they say Maricle’s got it.

“We all work around our normal day job and do what we can do to help the community,” Mazarakis said.

Which is why they’re on this mission to help.

“Most of us do fine, we are OK, but when somebody goes down we need to help them up and that’s what we do,” said Colombo.

They are now hoping the community can pay back the generosity.

“I know he appreciates everything and he’s a real humble guy, a really nice guy,” said Mazarakis.

Perhaps even his name lives up to the “Maricle” he survived this far, and how could he not, with the team by his side.

“He’s on the mend, he’s going to be good, he’s going to be fine, and we are going to be behind him the whole way,” Colombo said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help out their friend to help cover some expenses.

“I am asking you to reach into your hearts and do what ever you can for them (his family). The funds are to be used to offset medical costs and other bills during the next year while he goes through a recovery period,” Mazarakis added.


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