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Venture Crew participates in winter survival training

On Jan. 9, 12 crew members and four adults from the Pagosa Springs Venturing Crew were invited to participate with the Durango Mountain Resort Ski Patrol and the local Search and Rescue teams in their annual Winter Survival and Search and Rescue Class. The morning class consisted of a demonstration and discussion of how to “package” a victim in the wilderness. Concerns for comfort, keeping the person warm and dry and moving them safely to emergency medical help were addressed.

The crew attended: Avalanche Training 101, where the teams learned what conditions cause avalanches, what are warning signs and what to look for to stay away from the danger areas and prevent avalanches; Avalanche Beacon Training, where the students learned about the different avalanche beacons, proper procedures to use the beacons and how to locate and rescue avalanche victims.

In the event of an overnight stay in the wilderness, a station was offered, which taught the proper way to make a shelter to keep warm and dry. And, finally, fire — each member learned how to build a fire without the use of matches, but, more importantly, to make sure to carry those matches in a backpack when venturing out in the backcountry. They also explored what materials might be in your backpack that help build a fire to keep warm and toasty during an overnight experience. Due to the snowy weather conditions, the Landing Zone Training was reduced to a demonstration of the TriState Helicopter landing and a mock emergency loading.

The next Venturing Crew event will be a First Aid/CPR class and certification on Saturday, Feb. 5. This class requires preregistration and has prerequisites. If you would like more information on this upcoming class or the Venture Crew, please contact either Anne Kautzky at 903-7718 or Bill McKown at 799-1920.