New Hampshire Search & Rescue Annual Training

Yesterday at Cannon Mountain I attended an annual training for various search & rescue groups in NH, organized by NH Fish & Game. Groups in attendance were Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), Mount Washington Observatory (MWO), Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), New England K-9 Search and Rescue, Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team (UVWRT), The Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team (PVSART), and Mountain Rescue Service (MRS), of which I am a member.

After some indoor GPS review Fish & Game gave us a grid to search for a missing young girl (training exercise). Scattered within the search area were about 10 clues to try and find.
We conducted a line search and located many of the clues left for us to find. Great review of GPS and line searching procedures.
Kurt and Joe demonstrated some swift water crossing techniques nearby.
Frank demonstrated "Twin Tension Lowering Technique" for use in high angle rescue (MRS Specialty)
Learning how to find and follow a persons tracks in the wilderness was certainly the most interesting thing I learned about...
The instructor demonstrated how to measure foot size, gait, stride, saddle, and other observations to make sure you are following the right set of tracks.
Then in pairs we were assigned a track to locate and follow. This was some very cool training!
We debriefed and took away some last minute tips.

Mountain Rescue Service is ‘on call’ 24 hours per day, all seasons, with volunteers being mobilized for a full range of incidents: complicated multi-day and nighttime searches in the depth of winter throughout the White Mountain National Forest; technical rope rescues on the region’s many rock climbing cliffs; swift water rescue assistance; and lift evacuations at area ski resorts. Keeping 40+ primary team members prepared requires not only constant training, but also vigilant equipment monitoring and annual investment to ensure team and patient safety.

This volunteer technical rescue service depends on donations to operate.  Donations are allocated for the purchase of search and rescue equipment (ropes, sleds, radios etc) and technical training that enables the MRS team to be mobilized as needed.

Find out more about Mountain Rescue Service and how to donate here: www.nhmrs.org

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