How do you make this call?

By John Kanelis /

Of all the jobs on Earth that one shouldn’t ever want to have, I believe I have found the one job that no one should ever have to do.

It’s the one that requires an individual to decide when a “rescue” mission becomes a “recovery” mission.

That’s the call facing someone involved in the search for victims of that horrific and horrifying building collapse in Surfside, Fla.

As I write this brief blog post, 11 people are known to have died in the collapse of the condo tower; 150 are still missing and unaccounted for.

Crews are working desperately to find survivors. They’re getting help from teams from Israel, Mexico and perhaps other nations lending a hand to assist the desperate searchers. They have deployed search dogs to sniff through the mountain of rubble for any sign of life.

I only can imagine the difficulty of determining when to stop looking for survivors and start searching for human remains. I also know how difficult and wrenching it is to be a loved one waiting for word on the fate of whoever was caught in that disaster. My own father died in a freak boating accident more than 40 years ago and it was several days before they found his remains floating in a frigid inlet north of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. My heart goes out to the loved ones waiting for closure.

They don’t pay someone enough money to make that call.

I pray for their well-being and for their sanity as they wrestle with how to make this horrific decision.