Posted: Aug 30, 2012 12:45 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Updated: Aug 30, 2012 12:09 PM
HELENA- Last week's discovery of what is believed to be the remains of Noah Pippin wouldn't have been possible without the Lewis & Clark County Search and Rescue team, who recently conducted a rope-rescue training exercise near Clancy.
After gathering at a familiar rock climbing site at Sheep Mountain, eight search and rescue members set out to practice their skills. The scenario is to search for a victim who has fallen off a cliff. His injuries are unknown.
Kevin Grabinski, the team leader who served in the search for Pippin, says they begin by profiling missing persons.
"But we try and develop a profile of the individual, the situation they are in, and use that to try and predict how far they are going to travel or are they going to try and move or hunker down."
As the team arrives they prepare their equipment for the rescue, and after securing and anchoring their ropes to area trees, they focus on the strategy of their mission.
Search and rescue volunteers train at least twice a month or more with various rescue scenarios. And they don't get paid.
Search volunteers realize they are risking their lives to save or locate others such as in the case of Noah Pippin - but that's just what they do.
"It is dangerous. And it takes a certain type of person to do it. And I think a lot of the people here are avid outdoorsman and they put themselves out in these environments anyway," volunteer Kathy Wiegand noted.
"Because it may become a day that I'm out there and I'm the one needing assistance," Grabinski added.