Search and Rescue team among best in the state |

Search and Rescue team among best in the state

— Routt County Search and Rescue is now considered to be among the highest in trained wilderness rescue operations in the state by becoming a fully accredited member team of the Mountain Rescue Association.

“This brings the whole team to a higher level,” Routt County Search and Rescue President Jamie Neault said.

There are 50 Search and Rescue operations in Colorado. Thirteen have attained the status as an accredited member of the Mountain Rescue Association, he said.

“A lot of Search and Rescues get trained and do the job, but that doesn’t mean they get certified,” Neault said.

The Mountain Rescue Association is an international organization dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education.

Its accredited members, otherwise known as team members, are recognized to be sufficiently trained in all aspects of mountain rescue, according the Mountain Rescue Association Web site.

To become a team member, Routt County Search and Rescue had to go through a series of field testing that covered three aspects of mountain rescue: rugged terrain search, technical rope rescue in a wilderness environment and alpine rescue (snow and ice at a high altitude).

Last May, Neault said Routt County Search and Rescue passed all the field tests except the alpine rescue. The group was told to brush up on avalanche rescue training and then retest this month.

Last week, the team retested and passed.

“This took a lot of time to do,” Neault said.

The accreditation means Routt County Search and Rescue can get called by other team member Search and Rescues on out-of-town or out-of-state assignments if needed.

“They know that we can work with other accredited (Search and Rescue operations) and be on the same page,” Neault said.

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