November 2021

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SCVSAR New Members

November 8, 2021

Taylor Isabell, SCVSAR, Snohomish SAR Unit Member I first walked into Taylor’s Landing on a Wednesday evening in November of 2018 with no idea of what to expect. I remember looking around the room at display cases full of plaques and trophies, lifesaving awards on the wall, and a big banner, obviously handmade, that read “Thank for you for saving our friend.” I remember that seeing the physical reminders of the sweat, hard work, grit, skill, and dedication made me feel small, but also made me feel grateful for the opportunity to serve with SCVSAR. After three short years with the organization, that feeling is unchanged. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, I spent a precious afternoon out of the house in early spring driving up to local trailheads to see what their utilization looked like. I was expecting them to be busy but was blown away by what I saw. It looked like you’d have to park so far away, you’d double your mileage just getting to the trailhead! If you’ve followed us over the last 18 months, you know this led to an unprecedented and difficult rescue season. But, with call volume way up, recruitment went way, […]

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President’s Letter – November, 2021

The Three Fingers Mountain rescues this year, on October 10 -11 and earlier on August 8, remind our family of our own Three Fingers Mountain rescue back on August 26-27, 2008. Our son was one of the three teens whose life was saved on that mission. The 20 hours we spent at the SAR Base Camp was our family’s first introduction to these amazing heroes of Search & Rescue. What would be your response if your life was saved, or the life of a loved one? Volunteering with SCVSAR has been our family’s response to this amazing organization. The documentary film, Be Like Water, that will be released in the upcoming months, is Nichole Doane’s contribution “towards the unrequitable debt she owes to SAR for getting her out alive”. 2020 and 2021 have been “interesting” years for Search & Rescue. The COVID-19 restrictions have significantly affected how we operate; most of our meetings have been done via Zoom; our in-person trainings were often suspended until we received permission from the State SAR coordinator to resume trainings with COVID protocols in place. While our mission tempo has been significantly above average, with many folks escaping to the outdoors for relief, new […]

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Be Like Water Film Documents a SCVSAR Rescue at Wallace Falls

Nichole Doane was rappelling down the 265-foot waterfall at Wallace Falls when she unexpectedly lost control, free-falling 60 feet. It was then up to SCVSAR’s ground teams and Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) to safely extract her off a dangerous ledge while providing medical care with limited resources. Be Like Water is a documentary film showcasing the accident, the heroic rescue by SAR, and Nichole’s personal story of resiliency. This film is Nichole’s contribution towards the unrequitable debt she owes to SAR for getting her out alive. A Note from Nichole: “As a trauma nurse, I witness death regularly. So, when I lived through an accident that was unsurvivable in my professional opinion, I was left with this question on my mind: ‘Why me? Why do I get to walk away and so many others aren’t so lucky?’ Surviving is an extraordinary gift that quickly becomes an enormous responsibility because the very next question that follows is, ‘What are you going to do with this gift?’ This question begs more from life and laughs at all excuses for why we might choose not to live fully and deeply. It demands bravery, vulnerability and unabandoned love. ‘Be Like Water’ is me saying […]

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Return to Three Fingers

November 2, 2021

Over the past weekend, SAR volunteers were again on a mission on Three Fingers Mountain to rescue a hiker in trouble who was caught by the foul weather. Simultaneously, other SAR volunteers were on a mission to reach a hiker trapped by rising water near the Monte Cristo ghost town. These two missions are typical during the autumn when the weather changes for the worse. We see a lot of hikers, hunters, mushroom pickers, etc., who overestimate their ability when hiking and carry inadequate equipment to keep themselves warm and dry. And they underestimate the severity of the weather’s effect upon themselves and their surroundings. No matter how strong or fit you are, once hypothermia starts you quickly become incapable of staying warm and helping yourself. Hypothermia is not prevented by being strong, fit, or “tough”, but by staying dry, warm, and “fueled” with plenty of food and fluids. We at SCVSAR urge the public to, please, be more cautious and conservative with your backcountry trips no matter the weather forecast. At this time of year, the weather can change rapidly and even a forecast of mildly bad weather can turn into severe weather in higher elevations. And always remember […]

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