Two Person Lowers & Two Rescues

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last weekend, our Air Unit and Mountain Rescue volunteers worked together to conduct a training session on the ridgeline of Calico 1 at Red Rock.  The volunteers were split into 3 teams and were placed in separate locations.  Each team worked on various raising and lowering techniques with both one-person and two-person loads.

Splitting the Unit into 3 separate teams does a couple of things.  It gives our team the ability to work in a tight-knit group and it allows everyone to practice working at each station.  As you know, it takes multiple people to conduct a rescue, so we strive to emulate real-world scenarios in our training sessions.

As the Unit was conducting its training session, the Sergeant received information on reports of a fallen climber in Calico II.  Since the team was so close, the helicopter picked up two rescuers from Calico I and headed to the area of the fallen climber.  After finding her and assessing the situation, it was determined that her injuries were minor.  Fire crews completed the assessment and treatment as rescuers left the scene.

As Mountain Rescue volunteers left Sunday's training session, a second call came in from dispatch.  This time it was reports of a hiker who had attempted to find a short cut down the mountain.  He was attempting to get back to his car as the sun was setting, but instead of finding a short cut, he ended up stranded on a cliff face without a way of going up or down.  A team of volunteers were flown about 70 feet above the hiker where they set up technical systems and lowered a rescuer to the ledge where the hiker had cliffed out.  The rescuer placed a harness on the victim and the rest of the team raised both the rescuer and the hiker to a LZ where the hiker was flown out.  No injuries were reported.

If you'd like to see what a one-skid helicopter pick up looks like, we've uploaded two new videos.  Same pick-up, different vantage point.  Enjoy!