"It’s hard to explain. I think everyone on the team has a deep passion to help other people. To be directly involved in saving somebody’s life is a pretty amazing experience."
It’s hard to explain. I think everyone on the team has a deep passion to help other people. To be directly involved in saving somebody’s life is a pretty amazing experience.
John May and his fellow team members at Wolfe County Search and Rescue put their lives at risk to save those in need of help. Near his Campton, Kentucky home, where John was born and raised, he has worked to improve his community throughout his life.
“The county I live in is very rural and many people are struggling,” said John. “I just want to improve the community, make it more livable. In the past I have worked on committees to recruit new industry to the area and increase tourism.”
The main tourist attraction in the area is the Red River Gorge which is part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. With over 70 miles of rugged trails, 100+ natural arches and 200’ cliff lines, tourists often find themselves in precarious positions either lost or injured from falls.
About 10 years ago, John inquired about becoming a volunteer firefighter in town. They recommended he work to get a search and rescue unit started. After recruiting and training members, the all-volunteer search and rescue team was ready for action. In the years since, it has become one of the most active search & rescue teams in the state of Kentucky, conducting 35-40 rescues every year.
John recently broke his ankle during a rescue of a man who had been lost for 11 days, yet the injury was minor when compared to saving a person’s life. “It’s hard to explain, I think everyone on the team has a deep passion to help other people,” said John. “The other team members deserve the same recognition. I trust those people with my life. To be directly involved in saving somebody’s life is a pretty amazing experience. It’s a great feeling.”
John also serves as a resource for training other people in technical rope rescue, and swift water rescue across the state. His day job is at the local electric company, Licking Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, where he's manager of administrative services.
John loves spending time with his wife Katherine and daughter Madison Grace, hiking, kayaking and camping. Both Katherine and Madison will be joining John on the cruise.