Saturday, January 10, 2009

Search and Rescue Phase 2

Some time ago I had mentioned that I was going to apply to the alpine rescue team, and be an active member of their rescue contingent.  There were only two nights during the past two years that membership applications where being offered, and you had to be present, on site, at one of those meetings to get an application.  It was also in your favor if you showed up to both nights, even though they covered the same information (mainly to show interest).  One was in November, and the other in December.  Unfortunately, I could not attend the December meeting since I was deployed to Antarctica.  
That first meeting, there most of have been about 35-40 people there.  The existing membership told us what being a new member meant, and what it would entail.  They also had an ex-member there who tried to talk us out of joining as well, which I thought was interesting.  His story behind why he quit, I thought was kind of sad, but wasn't very effective for me.  Having been through what I've been through with the Fire Service and USAR teams in Pennsylvania has shown me how I handle the types of situations that caused this person to quit.  Overall, it sounded like they were mainly looking for people with the time to commit to the team, and might be in your favor if you had past medical certifications.  About the only other thing that I had in my skill set that carried over was some rope and knot tying skills, but that's even questionable since some of the things they do are different than how I learned.
 I wanted to get the application out of the way before I deployed, so I ended up turning in my application 2 days after receiving it.  Needless to say, I was the first to turn theirs in.  Applications weren't officially due until December 31st.  The next step in the application process was an interview.  Since I was the first to turn in my application, I had first choice of times to choose from to go in, which was nice.  The interview was quick, about 15 minutes in total, since they were tyring to keep to a schedule.  It was me in front of about 6 or 7 people (my memory is a little fuzzy).  The questions were simple, mostly concerned with time availability, life priorities, and why I wasn't looking for another volunteer fire company or USAR team.  I left the interview feeling neither good or bad about how I did.  I had of course formulated better answers in my head after it was over, but that's typical.
Anyhow, today I received a letter in the mail.  I'M IN!  Out of over 40 people interested in becoming members, 34 applied, and 14 were selected.  I still have to go through all the prospective Member training classes, which will last through the beginning of may, which includes a written and physical agility test, before I am an official active member, but I'm not too worried about that.  It'll be nice to get back to the types of activities I've missed so much since moving here from Pennsylvania.
So the team's primary response area is a 3 county area, Jefferson, Gilpin, and Clear Creek.  They get about 100 or so calls a year, ranging from lost hikers to fallen hurt rock climbers, to downed aircraft.  They've been around for about 50 years as an official team and have a good reputation within the state.

Update: Please note that anything that I say or post here on this blog are solely my ideas, observations, and opinions.  They do not represent those of the alpine rescue team or any of its members.  I do try to take into account the feelings of all who may read this, but sometimes somethings slip through.  I have edited specific statements of this post that others may have found offensive, and I apologize if I have offended anyone.


Bill said...

Congratulations on getting selected, it sounds like a really interesting organization to work for.

Jessica Padgham-Owens said...

Congratulations-I'm glad you can use your experience to help others!