The Mountain Rescue Team performs SAR operations involving higher risk situations mainly encompassing high-angle rescue and alpine search and rescue missions. The higher risk is mitigated by more intensive and consistent training to build a dependable and professional team. Each active member receives a Rock Rescue Tech Certification from the CCSSAR and must renew certification each year to prove basic proficiencies and techniques.
Personnel interested in joining the Mountain Rescue Team are evaluated on their participation in other SAR operations and training. Once selected, they must complete our Rock Rescue Academy.
During the Academy, the team instructs each individual in the methods and concepts behind the systems the Mountain Rescue Team will use. After mastering the knots used by the team, the training moves on to ascending and rappelling, lowering and raising systems, pick-offs, patient packaging and litter attending.
At the end of the Academy, each trainee must demonstrate the ability to perform all of the skills they’ve just learned. Most training is held in the field to best exemplify true mission conditions.
Each Mountain Rescue Team member is required to provide a basic set of equipment for personal use, including a seat and chest harness, carabineers, descending and ascending devices, prussic cords and webbing. All system equipment is provided by CCSO.
Members who have achieved Rock Rescue Tech status are then eligible for the Snow and Ice Rescue Academy, held when a sufficient number of new members express interest.
To receive Snow and Ice Rescue Tech certification, members must demonstrate some basic alpine survival skills including making proper equipment choices, building snow shelters, building fires in snow, over-the-snow travel, patient transport and overnight bivouac in winter conditions and basic avalanche awareness.
The Mountain Rescue Team frequently searches for skiers and snowboarders who venture into the out-of-bounds areas surrounding the ski area. These missions can occur during extreme winter weather, requiring team members to be trained and equipped for operating for extended periods in harsh conditions.
The Mountain Rescue Team must also be ready for summer missions at high altitude, where weather and temperatures can mimic winter conditions.