Summit County Rescue Group put to the test
“Help!” a male’s voice called from the top of a mountain near Loveland Pass. “Over here!”
From the road, his figure was just a dark pinpoint in a landscape of white.
One by one, rescue workers showed up on the scene. Calm and collected, they checked in with mission coordinators, clicked into skis or strapped into snowshoes and made their way up the mountain toward the man.
The scenario was part of the Summit County Rescue Group’s accreditation exercise by the Mountain Rescue Association.
Within minutes, the mountainside was filled with rescue workers surveying the landscape, probing, digging and marking the scene with flags. Nearby, men and women in brightly colored vests watched and listened, observing each and every action the rescue workers made.
“The scenario we set up is a simulation of a real incident,” said Bob Feroldi, a lead evaluator for the Mountain Rescue Association.
The Summit County Rescue Group is being evaluated in search, high-angle technical rescue, scree-field evacuation, winter rescue and avalanche operations. Mountain Rescue Association evaluators not only look at whether proper skills and techniques are being used; they also assess volunteers on teamwork, decision making and communication.
“We will evaluate how they respond, how they work as a team and function within the command structure,” Feroldi said. “There is a whole long criteria.”
Rescue volunteers have to keep a clear head under pressure.
“If we have poor leadership and are running around with our heads cut off, that is looked down upon,” said rescue group director Benjamin Butler.
The volunteers take the test very seriously.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Butler said. “It’s a very prestigious thing to be part of the Mountain Rescue Association.”
The Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association has 18 member teams. The association prides itself on being “the best of the best” and providing “the platform to accredit the best mountain rescue teams in the world.”
Read the full story at summitdaily.com
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
When I started at Middle Park High School in 2017, my goal was to create a theater program that encompassed more than just putting on a show at a time on a one-off basis. I…