Summit County Rescue Group aces re-accreditation test |

Summit County Rescue Group aces re-accreditation test

Breeana Laughlin

The Summit County Rescue Group retained its accreditation by the Mountain Rescue Association, passing all five tests in a unanimous vote by evaluators last weekend.

“We knew what had to be done and everybody went in and did their job,” said Rich Miller, a Summit County Rescue Group team leader.

During the two-day period, more than 30 members of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association evaluated every aspect of the Summit County Rescue Group’s operation.

“The Rocky Mountain Region is the only region in the Mountain Rescue Association that has this rigorous of re-accreditation,” Miller said. “We do so because of the types of missions we perform.”

The five scenarios on which the rescue group was tested reflect the kind of real-life missions the group is called upon to perform — avalanche operations, winter rescue, search, high-angle and scree-field evacuation.

“The rigorous re-accreditation every five years makes us a stronger, better team,” Miller said. “There is a lot of pressure. We want to make sure we perform well and take pride in knowing that we can perform.”

Summit County Sheriff John Minor applauded the group for its effort.

“This is a very special year for them to go through this evaluation by their peers,” Minor stated in a news release. “In 2013, they will be celebrating 40 years of service to the community. That’s something to be proud of.”

Summit County Rescue Group consists of about 75 all-volunteer members. The group annually dedicates about 6,000 hours to training and more than 12,000 hours to responding to calls for assistance in the backcountry.

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