- We are a team of 15-20 volunteers with deep technical skills and experience operating in the back country...skills and experiences honed while enjoying the diverse climate and terrain allow us to operate extremely effectively in difficult conditions during rescue missions.
- Most of our members are avid backcountry skiers, rock climbers, ice climbers, mountain bikers, hikers, kayak and whitewater rafters and have unique awareness and experience operating in our high-risk environments.
- We have all-terrain vehicles and snow mobiles to assist us during missions. Most missions require heavy physical exertion to reach injured parties and extract them from their location.
- We do not operate in shifts; rather, we are always on call. Most of our missions occur late in the day and into the evening, primarily during weekends and holidays.
- Our mission is to provide rescue services of various nature to outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the terrain in and around Stowe. No two missions are alike, but we train for four key missions:
- High- and low-angle rescue in difficult terrain, such as the Smuggler’s Notch cliff area or any of our summer water holes that draw cliff jumpers. To be effective in this terrain, our team requires extensive rock/ice climbing, technical rope system deployment and rope/litter system deployment. We practice both winter and summer ‘patient’ extractions in order to experience the difficulties with working in both heat and cold/snow/ice.
- Swift-water rescue for both summer and winter operations. Our team has strong swimmers with knowledge/awareness of swift current environments and flooding environments. The rescue technicians must be able to navigate Class III+ flood waters to rescue victims, operate small motorized boats in and around swift currents, and deploy high-line tension systems to extract victims who may be in dangerous locations. The team can be deployed during flooding events to support emergency extractions from stranded vehicles, water craft or flooded homes.
- Land navigation / search and rescue. While mobile communications have come a long way and a typical phone call is all that is needed to locate lost individuals, they are not always available due to a dead battery or lack of cellular service. Therefore, we continue to practice Land Navigation using various tools (compass, GPS, smart-phone applications) in order to search and locate lost subjects enjoying our extensive back-country environs.
- Back-Country Medical Assistance. While we have the benefit and support of fantastic local Emergency Medical Rescue Services, each member of our team has some degree of advanced medical training in order to render medical aid in the back country should those agencies not be able to access the patient. Our team includes personnel with Emergency Medical Responder training all the way to Advance Emergency Medical Technician qualifications. These skills may be deployed while on the edge of a cliff or in the middle of a flood.