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Several TRSAR members took the weeklong “Ropes That Rescue” Team Skills Seminar in Sedona the last week of February.  This is an outstanding class from a world renowned rope rescue expert that greatly enhances the skills of our rope team.  The class is an intensive 10 hours per day for 7 days straight, with about 1/3 of it being classroom while the rest is hands on practical skills over high exposure rock.  Margaret Bullard, Tammy Miotto, Roger Miotto, and I attended. 

In addition, GCSO sent Rodney Cronk who will be a terrific asset to any of our rope rescues.  There were 12 students in this class – 2 from Japan, one from a famous rock climbing area in New York (The Gunks), 2 from California (San Bernardino Mountain Rescue), and 2 from Superstition SAR. 

The Gila County members in the class did our squad proud, so Roger as lead rope rescue instructor is definitely doing things right in our trainings.  Tammy did outstanding for being brand new to the squad and to rope rescue.  Margaret has always been a very strong rope team member of course, but now has the skills to run the show when necessary.  Roger and I learned even more this time around than we did last time.

Reed Thorne who runs “Ropes That Rescue” does much of the leading edge testing and rescue systems analysis.  It is through his constant testing and analysis that safety margins continue to increase for what we do.  He works with all of the major rescue gear manufacturers, and because of Reeds ongoing testing, critical things that we do change from time to time.  Since Roger and I took this class 3 years ago, Reed has discovered a potential flaw in the belay system that is in use worldwide.  We will introduce a change to that immediately.  Over time, we will introduce a few more things that make rigging easier or faster – so you don’t have to put your coffee cup down while rigging.

Bill Pitterle 500

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