Search and Rescue

Today I woke up bright an early for a self generated assignment, the Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue department training. There are many scenarios Search and Rescue must train for, today it was mostly rappelling. I arrived at Fort Tuthill at 8 am, I came upon 2 people, one standing safely next to a truck, the other 3/4 the way up a 60 foot water tower. Jason, the guy on the ground told me that training didn't start for another hour, so I hurried to get a nutritious breakfast at Del Taco. The team arrived around 9:30, consisting of dps officers, and firefighters from various stations. They suited up in harnesses with a variety of gadgets hanging from them, that myself, a climber, didn't even recognize. One after the other, the team practiced braking while sliding down the rope. I climbed up for a few different angles.

Next was the fun part, rapelling from a hovering helicopter. We drove out to a field east of town, and I got to watch as this team of about 8 guys were repeatedly flown 80 feet into the air, climbed out the side of the rescue chopper and lowered themselves to the ground. They also practiced a short-haul, which involves flying a patient on the end of the rope to a close dropoff point. To my excitement I was given the opportunity to ride in the cockpit for a few rappells, and to the airport for a refuel, and back. My first time in a helicopter, and I can't wait to do it again.
I love my job.


Anonymous said...

Top photo-Tower Mark (forgot last name-will get it tomorrow) from Sedona Fire District.

Second photo-Cockpit Officer/Pilot Dave Craft, AZDPS

Third photo-Heli-Rappel
Rappeller-Mark (Sedona Fire)
Bottom Belay (white helmet) Capt. Scott Strohmeyer, Flagstaff Fire Department
Green Helmet Cpl Darrin Womble, Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Fourth photo-bottom belay Mark, Sedona Fire

Anonymous said...

Mark's last name is Friel

Anonymous said...

How exciting :)

Jenn Ireland said...

Hey! I see my old D200 hanging around your neck... sad! Although I now have a D300, and D300 trumps D200 anyday! Thats awesome that you are doing stuff 'self-generated'!!! I miss Flagstaff so much! Looking at your stuff makes me sad.

So whats next? After the AZ DS i mean?

alisha said...

well la de da.