March 3rd, 2015
Rescue Squad Members train in Winter Alpine Search & Rescue
During the months of January and February, 14 Henderson County Rescue Squad members spent over 600 hours preparing for and participating in several Winter Alpine Search & Rescue (WASAR) classes. These classes were offered through NC Emergency Management and are designed to train back country responders of Search & Rescue emergencies during winter alpine conditions.
NC Emergency Management (NCEM) recognized the need for a Winter Alpine Search & Rescue program over four years ago and began preparations for equipment and training in the state. In conjunction with Crackerjack First Response Specialists out of Oregon, NCEM developed a program to address the needs of rescuers in NC in regards to mountain wilderness alpine emergencies. NCEM provided equipment caches for placement in strategic locations in WNC in order to provide the best response possible when an alpine emergency occurs. These equipment caches are located in Avery County, Buncombe County, Haywood County, Henderson County and Mitchell County.
This year there were four classes offered and they were based in Avery and Watauga Counties. The Basic WASAR class was 25 hours in length and focused heavily on equipment and personal gear for use in winter alpine emergencies as well as techniques for such emergencies. Students were also introduced to basic mountain rope rescue systems. The Basic WASAR class was offered twice in the month of February. The Advanced WASAR class was 32 hours in length and focused on advanced mountain rope rescue systems and techniques for use in winter alpine emergencies. A Law Enforcement WASAR class was also offered and was 25 hours in length. This class teaches Law Enforcement Officers how to track suspects and operate in a wooded environment for extended periods of time.
The Henderson County Rescue Squad had 11 personnel complete the Basic WASAR class, 2 personnel complete the Advanced WASAR class and 1 personnel complete the LE WASAR class. There were also 2 personnel who completed their instructor requirements in order to teach the Basic WASAR course in the future. The following personnel completed these different classes: Basic WASAR: Nikki Ammerman, Justin Blythe, Mike Edney, Toby Linville, Tim McFalls, Kathy Morgan, Will Moyer, Jeremy Pace, Byron Smith Jr., Pat Stefan and Michael Zorick. Advanced WASAR: Dave Jenkins and Mark Shepherd. Basic WASAR Instructor Qualified: Jimmy Brissie and Mark Shepherd. LE WASAR: Jimmy Brissie. (The included photo is from a Basic WASAR class, so not all these individuals are in it.)
For More Information Contact:Henderson County Rescue Squad, Inc.PO Box 1729, Hendersonville, NC 28793