On December 23, 2005, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SCCSSAR) Assistant Director Doug Mincey collapsed and passed away while attempting to take pictures of a small plane crash site. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team had spent the two previous days searching for and recovering the bodies of four people killed in a small plane crash in the Coyote Reservoir Park in Gilroy, California.
Doug and the team Director had hiked out to the site of the downed plane in hopes of collecting pictures and information for training and debriefing purposes. At the site Doug became faint and lost consciousness. California Department of Forestry, Gilroy Fire and Sheriff's Deputies responded to an emergency call for help from SCCSSAR's Director. Upon their arrival, CDF personnel were unable to revive Doug.
Doug was born on November 8, 1947. He worked as a Director of Sales Support for Altera. Doug joined the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team in October of 1993. During the past 12 years Doug had dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to training, organizing and conducting SCCSSAR events. In addition to the vast amount of time that he devoted, Doug personally outfitted his own four-wheel drive vehicle as a fully operational command center.
During his long tenure with SCCSSAR, Doug assisted on the high profile cases of Polly Klaus and Xiana Fairchild. He was always one of the first on scene, and one of the last to leave.
Doug was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. He fostered many friendships both with his teammates and those that came in contact with him. He was always eager to show, to anyone who was interested, the tactics, equipment and philosophy that the SCCSSAR team possessed. Doug will be sorely missed by us all.
Santa Clara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue was formed in 1989 to assist city, county, state and federal agencies in times of emergency. The Team is part of the Special Operations Division of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. The members are all dedicated volunteers, who are highly trained to effect successful SAR operations.