Monday, February 2, 2009

Search and Rescue

A few months ago Matt was asked if he might be interested in joining the Telluride volunteer Search and Rescue Team. At the time, he assumed that when you were part of SAR that when you got pages, you had to go. Being a public school teacher, he knew that wouldn't always be possible so he didn't pursue it. He was asked again and yet again. The last time, he actually started asking questions and found out that when you get paged for a call, you go if you can.

Knowing he could be part of the team made him start asking even more questions, but now they were directed at himself. Could he be committed enough to attend the twice monthly training sessions, which would go on for many many months? Could he wear a pager 24/7 and drop whatever he was doing to go on a call? Could he deal with the emotional side of this kind of work?

The last question was the only one he was unsure of when he attended his first training class last week. It will be many months before he goes out on a call, so it's hard to answer that one.

The first class was held in an airplane hangar learning all about helicopters. You never know what kind of vehicle you will be using for a rescue. It could be snowmobile or a helicopter, a 4WD vehicle...whatever it takes to get you to the scene.

You might need to find someone that is lost in the mountains, or help someone that has fallen off a cliff, you could be searching for someone buried in an avalanche, or even recovering bodies from a car that went over the side of the mountain. You don't know what awaits you.

Matt's feeling is that no matter whether you are assisting in a search or a rescue, you are helping someone. It might be a rescue where you save a life, or if you are retrieving a body, you are helping the family and friends of the victim put some closure on a tragedy.

Matt will continue to attend classes and I will update you from time to time on what he's learning.

Speaking of avalanches....they scare the heck out of me, but I am also in awe of them. I can watch videos of them over and over and over again. Kind of like a video of a tornado. It's like I can't believe what I am seeing. Here is a video of a controlled slide. Often times they will create man made avalanches when conditions become unsafe on the mountain. This is in Telluride where Matt lives.


Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

Good for Matt! Whether or not he is able to actually go full-fleged search and rescue, he'll learn a lot of valuable skills and info in this class. That last photo with the lake at the bottom is GORGEOUS!! Worth the hike! :)

aliceinparis said...

That is a great thing Matt is doing. The skills he learns might be the ones that help him or his friends one day. I am sure he will not regret the decision to go ahead with this.

Meekiyu said...

wow that's awesome to be so brave and volunteer to help people despite the danger. Wish I was so brave... hehe...

Lanyardlady said...

what a brave and honorable fellow Matt is. mom and dad must be so proud.

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