Search and Rescue completes avalanche recovery training

Earlier this month, members of the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team completed a comprehensive avalanche recovery and rescue training exercise above the Crystal Mountain Ski Area. The team is comprised of King County deputies and King County Medic One paramedics. 

Team members hiked to an area southeast of the ski area, made camp, then deployed on various nighttime rescue scenarios. Included in the exercise was searching an avalanche chute for two missing persons for recovery. In this scenario, a victim needed to be dug out of the snow, medically evaluated, and transported to the base camp using rescue rigging.

Once the Search and Rescue team completed their exercises, the members slept at the base camp in tents or hand-built survival shelters before descending the mountain the following morning.

Members then met Sheriff Cole-Tindall, Undersheriff Anderson, CID Chief Olmsted, and Captain Dauber at the Greenwater Fire Station to discuss the training over breakfast.

While these are extreme conditions to undergo an exercise — temperatures overnight were in the low teens to single digits — the importance of these exercises helps to prepare for unexpected rescues in the event of an emergency.