Tonto Rim Search
And Rescue Squad
Rim Country - Arizona's Favorite Playground
We work hard to keep it safe and enjoyable for everyone.
site and learn about what we do. We are volunteers who
do this because we love the outdoors and wish to give
Please consider a donation to
help support our efforts. We volunteer our time, skills,
and considerable personal equipment. However,
specialized rescue equipment, medical equipment, and
specialized training take significant amounts of our
annual budget. We are not publicly funded, and rely on
the goodness of those who live in and visit this
Our General Membership meeting is
held once a month on the 2nd Thursday of the month and
is held at the Payson Library Meeting room in Rumsey
Park at 7:00 PM. Everyone welcome!
If you have an emergency, we can't
be dispatched until the Gila County Sheriff's Office
dispatches us. The fastest way to make that happen is to
Notice to all TRSAR
As of this week, the Members Only
area of the web site will be removed from
TRSAR.org. The need for a
password-protected site is no longer necessary.
The Members Roster was the only restricted item
on the site. The roster will be available
at the Members General Meeting, or it can be
requested through email to the webmaster or the
database member at the following addresses:
We'll be moving pages and folders
from the Members Only site to the non-password
protected site in the next few weeks.
Sgt. Rodney Cronk - The Angel Of Fossil Creek -
Sgt. Rodney Cronk — the
Angel of Fossil Creek — has retired. Hapless
flip-flop-wearing hikers beware.
Bechman As of Tuesday, September 6, 2016
In the sinister dark.
In the pouring rain.
In the blazing sun.
Sgt. Rodney Cronk always showed up
in an emergency.
Sometimes, he hiked the grueling
four-mile-long, 1,500-foot-steep Fossil Creek Trail
three times a day — determined to rescue
flip-flop-wearing hikers without a bottle or water to
their names. Each of those suffering hikers felt a gush
of relief when they caught the sight of Sgt. Rodney
Cronk, in his tall cowboy hat, swinging down the rugged
trail with a pack full of water — and never a word of
When hikers feared to hike out,
Cronk would gently prod them along, steering them up the
four-mile trail so he wouldn’t have to call a team of
rescuers with a stretcher — or a horse-pulled cart.
Now after years of grueling,
good-natured service, Cronk was given a special parting
gift last week at his retirement party, a shirt that
read: Fossil Creek Rescue Squad Cronk No.1.
A tall, quiet man who loves to joke
around, Cronk’s work for the Gila County Sheriff’s
Office was invaluable.
Cronk began his career with the GCSO
in 1995 as a detention officer working out of the jail
Cronk attended the Northland Pioneer
College Basic Police Academy from August 1996 to June of
1997 where he was awarded outstanding cadet in physical
fitness and driving.
Upon completion of the academy, he
was transferred from detention to patrol, working in the
northern district of the sheriff’s office in July of
During his time on patrol, Cronk was
assigned as the sheriff’s office liaison with the
volunteer groups, such as search and rescue, along with
all the duties related to being a deputy sheriff.
Cronk was also the search and rescue
coordinator and eventually became the lead coordinator
after he was promoted to sergeant in May of 2012.
During his time as a patrol
sergeant, he was instrumental in helping establish the
At Cronk’s retirement last week, staff played a slide
show with the country ballad “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins
playing underneath. Many of the pictures showed Cronk
riding on his tall horse. He also rode in the Special
Olympics torch run every year, riding his bicycle down
the Beeline Highway and then jogging the last few miles
uphill to the county line near Sunflower. He also ran in
the Monster Mudda 5K during the police vs. fire race and
belayed out of helicopters with search and rescue.
Like the Texas Ranger mentioned in
Robbins’ song, Cronk kept a big iron on his hip, but for
him, it was an aluminum belay device for his dauntless
Cronk could hike and search where
many could not go. He never seemed out of breath, even
after a hard hike. Not surprisingly, he spearheaded the
GCSO physical fitness program.
Sarah White, chief administrative
officer, said while Cronk had a hard shell, once you got
past that, he had the softest heart.
Johnny Sanchez, chief deputy, said
Cronk was a tenacious worker that never gave up.
“He has been a spark plug,” he said.
“He will be a hard act to follow.”
When asked if he had anything to
say, Cronk said working with the volunteer groups, like
the Mounted Posse and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, had
been one of his favorite parts of the job.
During his tenure with the GCSO,
Cronk was also in the Army National Guard. He was
deployed in 2003-2004 and again in 2009-2010 to Iraq.
No word yet if Cronk plans to stay
on as a volunteer with search and rescue. He may just
take his horse and ride off into the sunset.
inks to many
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Copyright © 2016 Tonto Rim
Search and Rescue Squad