Mountain Rescue: It’s Not all Fun and Games

The Phone Rings

A fifty-year-old man is reported missing in the mountains.  His family called the sheriff's department at 11:00 pm – worried – he should have been home by now.

Dispatch calls the Captain of Search and Rescue, waking him up.

He calls his Operations Director, waking her up.

She calls out the team.  Waking everyone up.

Amazing Rescue Photos

YOSAR

When we see the amazing helo rescue photos with heroes hanging from cables, hooked to litters awash with the snow storm blown up by the rotor wash, we smile and appreciate all the hard work.

 Appropriately so.  #TrueHeroes indeed.

But, the reality of SAR. . .

But, lest we forget, those heroes are operating on little sleep, have been humping through unforgiving terrain in the dark, since shortly after being awakened from sleep.  And most of these heroes don't do this for a living.  They have a day job.  One they did yesterday and will do tomorrow.  Sleep or no sleep.  

Killin Header 5And there are the Ops people.  They may or may not be warm and safe.  They're the ones who plan the mission, keep track of every mission movement, and make sure there is warm food for the teams at every opportunity.  These people haven't slept either.

Still…

There are fun and games.  Sometimes you do get to ride on the helo.  Sometimes you do get to drop over the cliff's edge to rappel down to a waiting victim.   Sometimes – like in certain #MilitaryRomance novels – the waiting victim is gorgeous and single and there's a happily-ever-after waiting for them.   

Sometimes you get to watch the joyful reunion of the lost with their waiting family.

Sometimes you don't.

It's all in a day's mission. #ThatOthersMayLive

Thanks to #TrueHeroes.  

Jax