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County Search and Rescue Reaccredited in Technical Mountain Rescue

Members were among representatives of 21 teams to participate in the statewide event

The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team passed its technical rock rescue reaccreditation during a statewide event held last weekend in the Alabama Hills west of Lone Pine.

More than 300 search and rescue members representing 21 Mountain Rescue Association teams from throughout California participated in the reaccreditation held Saturday.

Every team first had to locate a “victim” with simulated injuries and then rock climb to affect a rope rescue system of the subject off the mountain and back down.

For their specific test, members of SBCSAR had to climb several pitches en route to their subject, then treat the subject for a broken lower leg and then raise him with a rope system before lowering him several hundred feet back to the ground.

This annual reaccreditation is the largest gathering of search and rescue volunteers in the state and allows teams to learn from one another the most up-to-date technical rock rescue techniques being used.

“In today’s world it is refreshing, not only to see over 300 volunteers willing to give their time to go out and provide search and rescue to their communities, but also to give up their free time to train and participate in the reaccreditation process,” said Sgt. Frank Underline of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, who coordinated the event.

In addition, Underline mentioned participating teams routinely respond to each other’s county SAR incidents through a statewide organized mutual aid system. Thus, events such as this, helps to train everyone to work together for such incidents.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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