Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 11, 2011

Handy to know our rescue routes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:45 pm
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Folks canyoneer up here above Park Avenue. Imagine trying to lower someone with a broken leg, as was recently done.

Today six of us RMVP (Resource Management & Visitor Protection) staff scoped out several entrance/egress routes for canyoneering in the park. In case of an accident, which is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if,’ we need to know where folks are using climbing ropes inside our boundaries, and we need to be aware of helicopter LZs (landing zones) if a major rescue is needed.

Half of the law enforcement rangers on duty here are seasonal (six-month) hires, and for all of them it happens to be their first season at Arches NP. This makes it especially important that they be taken to places where a difficult rescue might occur.

I appreciate being granted training hours and getting out in the field for things like this. The rainstorms in the outlying areas of the park made it even more exciting. I’m waiting for the first big flash flood of the year…

March 18, 2010

In which my decision keeps being confirmed

View to the east (La Sals) at Island in the Sky. This is the terrain in which we'll train.

It’s hard to miss.

Surprise, delight and envy — the look on the faces of climbers (inside the NPS and out) when I explain that I’ve been selected for Basic Technical Rescue says it all. This is a coveted training, and it seems I’ve been added to an elite sub-group of people.

Last night all the local ‘parkies’ were invited to a St Patrick’s Day cook-out at the home of one of the permanent rangers. I carry my purple rope in my purse and pull it out to practice knots whenever I have some down time; I need all the help I can get. These folks were eager to assist, and happy to go over and over it with me. One woman had been to the training before and is going this time, too, for Law Enforcement refresher — and promised to look after me and give help when needed. We tied Mr Purple Rope around the garden hose, chair legs, and itself. My retention is starting to improve. Another worker ran and got his Rescue Manual to loan me for bedtime reading for the next month, so I am at least familiar with terminology. The more I know what to expect, the less stressful it will be.

One of the Law Enforcement rangers (I think their name is changing to ‘Protection Rangers’ which sounds less threatening) suggested to me that in all likelihood my own park can loan me the specialized pieces of equipment that I am lacking. I’ll need an ascender, some etriers (web ladders), daisy chains, a chest harness, a bunch more carabiners…

I am psyched.

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