Captain, New Jersey Search & Rescue
Born and raised in northern NJ, Jennifer’s first taste of the outdoors was with her Grandpa Welsh. Their expeditions throughout northern New Jersey and southern New York parks usually had her coming home caked in mud but smiling ear to ear! Years later, she met a great guy, now her husband, who also loved to hike. He introduced her to New Jersey Search and Rescue, where they could both meld their love for the outdoors with service to others. Soon after joining NJSAR, Jennifer dove head-first into incident management, search planning, and lost person behavior, with a particular interest in at-risk subjects on the autism spectrum or diagnosed with dementia. She has been with the team since December 2002, and currently holds the rank of captain and serves as the leader of the Incident Management Unit. When not doing SAR, Jennifer uses her analytical mind as a paralegal at her father’s law firm in Sparta, NJ.
SARTECH II, K9 Educator, Northeast Search and Rescue
Michaela Hruskova was born and raised in Czech Republic. She started K9 training at 10 years old with a Standard Schnauzer in Schutzhund. Her passion for dogs continued when she moved to the USA. After finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Nursing, Michaela joined a Search and Rescue group in 2012. At that time, she was introduced to the Belgian Malinois breed and to this day enjoys working and K9 SAR training. Currently, she has three Belgian Malinois named Maya, Brita and Aquilas, which are all certified in different disciplines. Throughout the years Michaela has travelled and trained with different instructors from Canada to Florida. She believes in learning from outside your circle. Michaela currently owns TRI EDGE K9 and is a K9 educator with Northeast Search and Rescue.
Field Team Member, Catskill Mountain Search & Rescue
Annmarie's adventures in the outdoors started with the Red Hook Mountaineering Club, which introduced her to hiking and her lifelong love of the mountains. She added travels to her adventures, visiting over 30 countries and finding mountains to climb wherever she could. That included Kilimanjaro, where an episode of High Altitude Cerebral Edema nearly killed her. It was the first time ever that she needed to be rescued. Her work life included years as a paramedic, gaining her RN license along the way, then 23 years as a police sergeant in a busy small city. Now semi retired, she works as a mental health counselor on a suicide hotline. This varied background pulled together when the call for a Catskill Mountain Search and Rescue team formation went out. Her stories are many, and most are hysterical.
Field Team Member, New Jersey Search and Rescue
For my day job, I work as a Principal Data Scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, developing predictive models and machine learning algorithms to support research and clinical operations. I grew up in Western Canada doing lots of hiking and outdoor activities in the Rockies, and rowed competitively at university. I started volunteering with New Jersey Search and Rescue (NJSAR) in early 2017, as it was a great way to combine my love of hiking and being outdoors while at the same time doing meaningful work helping others.
Field Team Member, Catskill Mountain Search & Rescue
Lyn loves the mountains and everything about them - hiking, skiing, trees, photography. She is the newest member of Catskill Mountain Search & Rescue, and was inspired to join the team after she watched from afar the 5-day rescue effort for a missing hiker nearby. At the time she was untrained and unable to help. Her background is global media & marketing but these days she spends much of her time doing volunteer work in the mountains, which also includes leading hikes and maintaining the trails for others to enjoy. She lives at sea level in Manhattan with her two children, and when not on a peak somewhere can be found enjoying the museum and gallery scene there.
Wilderness EMT , Chief, Catskill Mountain Search & Rescue
VP/Field Team Member, New Jersey Search & Rescue
Erica’s own misadventures led to an interest in learning and experiencing as many things possible wilderness related and ultimately to joining a SAR team in 2013. In 2018, she was appointed SAR Chair of the Catskill 3500 Club and tasked with forming their SAR team. Catskill Mountain Search and Rescue (CMSAR) currently has 17 Mission Ready members on call 24/7/365 to be called upon to help with searches and rescues in the Catskill Mountains and surrounding areas. When Erica is not working her full-time job or volunteering, you can find her in the woods either backpacking, hiking with her dog, Caleesi, or training for her next big adventure.
Chief, West Milford Search and Rescue
Chief/Assistant Director, Passaic County Sheriff Search and Rescue
I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey and introduced to the wilderness at a very young age by my Grampa Carmen who would take me into the woods in search for the perfect mushrooms to cook up for dinner. On the weekends visited my Dad who was living in the Catskills and spent our days exploring. My passion for the outdoors and to help others led me into Emergency Services in 1995 starting as an EMT with the First Aid Squad. I was a member of the squad for 5 years before becoming a firefighter in 2001. Soon after becoming a firefighter I completed FUNSAR training and began my career as an unpaid professional in Search & Rescue. I worked with New Jersey Search & Rescue and West Milford Search & Rescue for approximately 10 years, climbing the ranks to Lieutenant of NJSAR before being appointed as Chief of West Milford Search & Rescue. Shortly after that appointment I was appointed as Chief/Assistant Director of Passaic County Sheriff Search & Rescue. At that point I had stepped down from NJSAR to focus on the two teams for which I had taken responsibility. In all my spare time I am working my full time job as a Nurse Case Manager and then spending every possible minute in the woods with my grandchildren, teaching them about the great outdoors or hiking and doing other outdoor activities with my family and close friends.