The Colorado Department of Corrections has a special team that responds to emergency situations within the state prison system. S. O. R. T. (Special Operations Response Team) is the “SWAT” team for the state prison system. Its members are all specially trained in weapons, hostage situations, riots, etc. and on call to respond anywhere in the state as needed. They are the elite members of the Colorado Department of Corrections.
My Mom was a member of the S.O.R.T. team. She was a nurse practitioner and paramedic and was the Medical Officer of the team. Though she was usually at least 15 years older than other team members and one of the few female S.O.R.T. officers, she was required to pass the same physical tests and be certified in the different weapons and tactics the team used in these emergency situations. Everything! Automatic weapons, hand-to-hand combat, rappelling, the works.
For 2 weeks every summer, the S.O.R.T. team would train at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Mom would pack her gear and depart, and Dad would worry for the next 2 weeks.
When Mom finally came home again, she’d be “black and blue” and sore all over, but… oh so HAPPY! She loved that job and working with “her boys”.
Mom and part of the S.O.R.T. team even acted as event security when Pope John Paul II visited Denver in August 1993. I remember she sent us some of the t-shirts that her team wore in Denver.
(Mom first row, far right)
(Mom getting ready to head off to the Air Force Academy)
(Plaque presented to Mom on her retirement in 1998)