It was Tuesday afternoon and Ethan Haus, 6 years old, and his siblings got off the school bus heading home. Ethan, instead of going inside, decided to play in the fields with the family dog Remington. However, the sun soon set and the boy was nowhere to be found. As it was getting darker, the temperature started to fall and the parents of the little boy started getting really worried about him.
Soon, the whole community was informed and more than 600 people in Sherburne County, Minnesota, heeded the call from the Sheriff’s Department. The volunteers following the Sheriff’s and deputies’ directions headed towards the cornfields and the swampy woods nearby to find the boy and his dog. However, the hours passed with no findings at all. The child’s family was getting all the more worried about him.
Luckily, a man called Steve Fines, who lives nearby, saw the call for volunteers that evening, while scrolling through Twitter. Fines is a professional photographer who owns an expensive piece of equipment, a $30,000 thermal camera, which he hoped would help them find the missing boy.
“I couldn’t go to bed knowing that I hadn’t done something” Fines said.
By 11pm there was no trace of Ethan and Remi, and Fines posted on Facebook that they had so far had no luck. He then flew his drone again, following a footprint some other volunteers had found that pointed to the direction of the child. And then, four hours after joining the search, he saw something moving. Fines could tell that it was probably a dog, since he has experience in tracing runaway livestock by pinpointing their body heat to help local farmers.
The deputies that were with Fines and a crew on the ground started searching for the missing boy and his dog. It turned out it was really them. The two were found about a mile away from Ethan’s home, shivering, but otherwise in good health. The boy was taken to hospital the following Wednesday and it was confirmed that he was fine.
Both Ethan’s family and his fellow volunteers were thankful to Fines for his act. One of the volunteers commented that:
“You brought your talent and equipment to do something for the greater good. A state patrol helicopter spent 6 hours on site, but you made it happen.”
Ethan’s mother and aunt said they were thankful to everyone who helped to find Ethan. His aunt, Brenda Haus, said:
“I wish I could hug and personally thank every single person that was there because it truly was amazing! No one ever gave a up hope including you… You will forever be in our hearts as we are so grateful that you could be such a big part of helping us get him home! Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts!”
This is just one instance of what a united community can do and how important taking action and helping others is. When people work together as a team anything is possible.
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