Summit Daily staff report

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January 14, 2014
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Summit County Sheriff’s Office to recognize rapid avalanche deployment team

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Flight for Life® Colorado have announced they will recognize 45 members of the Summit County Rapid Avalanche Deployment team for their dedication to the Summit County program.

The presentation takes place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21 at the Flight for Life® Hangar at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, located at 340 Peak One Drive in Frisco. Team photo opportunities will be available, including dogs and their handlers, as well as a Flight for Life® helicopter and flight crew.

The rapid avalanche deployment team program was started by Colorado sheriffs, search and rescue groups, ski patrols and Flight For Life® Colorado to address a need to save time, energy and precious minutes in the event of an avalanche burial or backcountry rescue.

Summit County is one several that participate in this program. Members dedicate numerous personal hours and are ready at a moment’s notice to help others in need. The team is made up of representatives from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Copper Mountain Resort, Keystone Resort and the Summit County Rescue Group.

The Avalanche Deployment Program combines the skill, expertise and stamina of search and rescue, avalanche teams and the Flight For Life® Colorado helicopter and crew who expedite the rescue of an injured or ill party and evacuate them to appropriate medical care.

Rapid deployment teams often encompass:

• A level 2 certified snow technician, who are the most senior technicians to participate in the program. They determine snow conditions at the scene, scene safety and perform a survey of the terrain from the air.

• Avalanche dog handlers, who are certified through Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado and Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment. Handlers’ duties include management and handling of avalanche dogs in-flight and on-scene.

• Avalanche dogs, which are certified in avalanche recovery. Dog duties include locating the victim and keeping everyone smiling.

• Flight For Life® pilots, who ensure every aspect of the flight is safe. Because weather conditions can change in a moment’s notice, their skill in performing landings in remote, high altitude locations is critical to the safe accomplishment of the mission.

• A Flight For Life® nurse/paramedic, who specializes in emergency and critical care, as well as pre-hospital management. They provide and maintain a hospital-level of care throughout the transport.

To participate in next Tuesday’s event, RSVP to TracyL@co.summit.co.us no later than Friday, January 17.


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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 14, 2014 10:02PM Published Jan 16, 2014 03:29PM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.