Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit

Tonight I went to the first Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit meeting.   Jason is a member (the secretary) of the Volunteer unit here.  The group is called in when someone is hurt or lost in the mountains.  Our area is the area from the Coastal Range, through the Willamette Valley to the Cascade mountains including the Sisters and Mt. Jefferson (two very big volcanoes).  The team is made of up a great crew of people.  There is a fireman who just won the Pacific Northwest Firemans challenge (ran up 70+ stories in full gear at under 10 seconds per story (or something ridiculous like that) and others who run marathons regularly and are all serious mountaineers.  I will have to go through some serious training to be a member of the crew.  I will need Avalanche Training, Mountain Rescue Training, a Wilderness First Aid Course, and several other first aid certifications before I am a member.  But when I become a member I will be able to rescue people and partake in saving lives in the mountains and it will look great on my mountaineering resume for when I go to attempt bigger climbs like McKinley, Kilamanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson and Everest.  It will also give me a lot of mountaineering training as well.  Jason is a great roomate for this as he is fully certified in everything and can teach me a lot about mountain travel at high altitudes with glaciers. 
    According to Jason if I attend meetings regularly and show that I am serious and start taking training courses I should become a member in about a year.  It will be great community service while I'm here and it might even allow me to save a life or two.  It will also give me more confidence in the outdoors when I'm traveling with inexperienced climbers. 
    At the meeting tonight we got to play with a lot of the safety equipement to test it out to make sure it is working properly.  I was able to secure the 170lb dummy, try out an arm cast, and put Cimg6022
together an oxygen tank.  That's Jason all tied up wih the neck brace in the pic.  I'm really enthusiastic about the group and hope that it showed.  The meetings areCimg6023
the first tuesday and 3rd wednesday of every month and I hope to attend every one that I can.  Jason has told me about the rescues he has been on and they seem to be really amazing and very self rewarding (they've gotten many thank you letters from the people they take care of).  The group also hosts the annual ski swap in town where Jason can put away anything I'd like to buy before they even open the doors to the public - a nice bonus to the job.  I'll keep everyone updated as I find time for training and as my position in the unit is created and evolves.  If you'd like to check out the official home page of the unit click here.


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