Friday, August 22, 2008

And we're off!

Term starts Monday. Students are filtering back. By Wednesday or Thursday we ought to be more or less able to respond to a call out again.

Some things we need to do right away:

1) Decide if we want to take on one or more rescue cover weekend for Baxter State Park before their season closes. See previous posts and emails for details. We have been invited to do so by park staff. This means accepting responsibility for handling emergency response, search, and evacuation from about 4pm Friday through 10pm Sunday, although you can usually leave earlier than that.

Almost all rescues in Baxter require technical and mountaineering skills and equipment.

Our trailer is also still at the Park, having been left there in spring when my private truck experienced technical difficulties. It's in good hands. The Park staff in charge of rescue were happy to have a back-up supply of gear, and promised to look after it and only use it in a dire emergency. But we need to retrieve the trailer anyway, which means someone is going up to the park, even if we decide not to have a weekend on rescue cover.

Tough duty.

2) Get a rough plan for how to commission our new SAR truck into service. Currently the truck is in the shop, but can be brought to campus soon. The plan was to garage it at the Sustainability House and equip it with the ready response gear from the trailer. I would like to suggest to the Team that this might be a good time to reconsider the purpose of the trailer. I think it might be better to equip it with emergency food and large scale camping gear so we have assets to help the authorities in a civil emergency, and be more self-sufficient on an extended call-out.

3) The usual chores: Meet incoming frosh and recruit. Begin weekly trainings. Review, maintain and order equipment. Maintain SOPs. Liaise with State authorities, public safety, communicate our role and mission to the college and the general public.