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Search and rescue teams get ready for winter recreation

Mountain rescue groups are dedicated to saving lives in the back country.
Mountain rescue groups are dedicated to saving lives in the back country.(KKCO)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:11 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The weather has been quite lately, but winter weather will be here before we know it. Mountain rescue groups are dedicated to saving lives in the back country. These groups, like search and rescue and technical rescue, provide free rescue services for people who get caught in a bad situation outdoors.

Rescue is a coordinated response from local law enforcement, highly trained volunteers, flight for life, and paramedics. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Marc Maurer and the other rescue team members are available to help people in need. In the winter months, these technical rescues often involve avalanches but can vary. “The skill set that we need is very broad,” explains Maurer. “Could be anything from medical training to maneuvering up and down slopes, rope rescue techniques, all sorts of gear training, and various types of things that involve certification on a national level and certification at a local and team level.”

As a global pandemic swept across the country, more and more people took to the back country of the west. The increased traffic combined with weak snow pack meant that Colorado saw sharp rise in avalanche deaths last year. This year, search and rescue teams are looking to change that.

Most people hike deep into the wilderness so when hitting the trails search and rescue really wants to emphasize the need to be prepared as it can take up to six hours for them to find you in the event of an emergency. Some gear suggested by search and rescue includes GPS trackers so you can call for help even if you don’t have service.

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