About our Team and Mission
- 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 (requires extensive rock/ice climbing, technical rope system deployment and rope/litter system construction)
- Swift-water rescue (requires strong swimmers and knowledge/awareness of swift current environments, boat operation and high-line tension systems)
- Land navigation / search and rescue (requires land navigation techniques, use of tools and maps and mission-specific situational awareness)
- Wilderness First Aid (requires Emergency Medical Technician/Emergency Medical Responder training and qualifications)
- We are a team of 15-20 volunteers with deep technical skills and experience operating in the outdoors. Skills honed 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.
Types of Membership
There are three primary types of volunteers at Stowe Mountain Rescue—Rescue Team members that provide rescue services in high-angle and swift-water environments, Support Team members who provide technical mission support, and Associate members who provide important logistical and administrative support to our operation.
- Associate Member:Associate members may apply for membership based on their area(s) of interest, such as administrative (office support, fundraising, etc.), vehicle maintenance, etc. Administrative volunteers will find many opportunities tailored to their interests, abilities, qualifications, and schedule. Associate members are encouraged to attend trainings and meetings in order to become integrated into the team culture.
- Support Team Member:Are trained in general mission operations, incident command system, vehicle operations, basic land navigation, search techniques, litter carrying techniques, basic technical rope rescue systems and shoreline support for water rescues. Support Team Members provide technical assistance to Rescue Team Members during missions and training. Support Team Members do not operate in high angle / swift water environments, but rather support Rescue Team Members who are operating in these hazardous environments.
- Rescue Team Member:Have successfully completed all Support Member requirements and have undertaken rigorous, advanced training in high-angle and swift-water rescue operations. They are skilled in designing advanced rescue systems and executing rescues in high-angle and swift-water environments. Based on extensive training and investment with the team, these members are highly encouraged to commit to many years of service with the Mountain Rescue Team.
Applicants to Stowe Mountain Rescue must:
- Be a resident of Stowe or live in an adjacent community.
- Possess strong recreational background in outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rock/ice climbing, white water paddling etc.).
- Submit a fully completed and signed application which includes all supporting materials listed in this application; incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Sign the volunteer service commitment as part of the application.
- Provide an official copy of your driver’s record from the Vermont DMV (The form is attached to this packet).
- Present a photocopy of your driver’s license, EMS certification, CPR card, and any other current Fire/Rescue/EMS certifications you possess.
- Submit your application via U.S. Mail or in person at our station on South Main Street.
- Instruct your references to complete and return the reference form directly to us.
- Submit a completed application by December 31 (Open enrollment is November and December of each year).
- Ask your references to complete and return the reference forms directly to us so that they arrive prior to your interview (January).
- Attend an interview with select members of the Mountain Rescue Team (Team Chief, Training Officer and at least two other members) (January).
- If you are selected to advance, you are entered into a 3-month Observation Period. During this time frame you must attend at least 2 Monthly meetings (First Wednesday of the month) and 2 monthly trainings (typically the third Sunday of the month). During the Observation Period you are highly encouraged to get to know the team members but, unfortunately, you will only be allowed to observe training events.
- At the end of the Observation Period (May), the team will vote on whether to allow you to proceed to the six-month Probationary Period. Only candidates we feel have a high degree of confidence for successfully completing the rigors of the Probationary Period will be allowed to proceed. Successful candidates demonstrate a willingness to participate, engage with team members and truly understand the commitment about which they are to undertake.
- During the Probationary Period, probationary member, able to respond to missions and actively participate in all Stowe Mountain Rescue training activities.
- The Probationary Period is where you will spend a significant amount of time engaged in training and orientation activities. The goal is to complete an intensive training program that is designed bring probationary members up to "Support Member" status by October. This typically entails a two-day immersion event (12-16 hours over one weekend) and then two two-hour training sessions two times per month in addition to the regular monthly training.
- Probationary members are issued minimal equipment and have access to team gear for training sessions and rescue calls.
- Associate members (administrative, fundraising, logistics, etc.) will go through some of the same rigorous training in order to fully understand the Mountain Rescue mission.
- Full team member status will be determined in November when the current team votes to accept new members.
Your primary contact throughout the application process is the Training Officer. The Team Chief and Training Officer will review your progress on a regular basis throughout the Application, Observation and Probationary periods.
Please consider before applying
✓ Are you willing to commit extensive time and energy to this team for at least 3-5 years?
✓ Are you able to meet the time commitment?
✓ If you do not have medical credentials, are you willing to pursue EMT/EMR ratings and commit to refresher requirements (typically 80 hours of extracurricular medical training every 2 years)?
๏ Not applicable to Associate member positions
✓ Are you able to begin the orientation and membership process?
✓ Are you a resident of Stowe or an adjacent community?
Whether dropped off or mailed, your application must be in a sealed envelope. Your application must be fully completed when submitted. It will remain confidential while being reviewed by the interview committee. Your references should also be received prior to your interview in January.
- Your references should make their submissions directly to Stowe Mountain Rescue at the mailing address shown below.
- Use persons for references that you have known at least one year. You may use only one Stowe Mountain Rescue member as a reference.
- Reference responses must arrive prior to the date of your interview (January).
Stowe Mountain Rescue
Mountain Rescue Team Chief
P.O. Box 291
Stowe, Vermont 05672
Click here for the Application Form that includes the 3 required Reference Forms
Click here for a stand-alone Reference Form that you can e-mail
Click here for the required DMV form (Note: Please check the box titled: Certified copy of complete operating record (Vermont only) – $20.00)