Mount Rainier’s life guards train 8,000 feet high

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Updated Thursday, May 22 at 2:20 PM

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --  Bravo Company doesn’t get a lot of rest during Mount Rainier’s busy climbing season.

Over the years there’s been a steady increase of people attempting to climb the mountain and when they get in trouble, Bravo Company goes in to save them.

On Wednesday, the members of Bravo Company, 1st of the 214th General Support Aviation Battalion were supporting a realist training mission at 8,000 feet on Mount Rainier. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord based unit lowered in a special high altitude medic team. It was a simulation of the challenges they will face in a climbing accident. The affects of icy footing, combined with the mind numbing altitude, can throw a medic off his/her game.

On Wednesday, they were lowered onto a steep slope where they secured their gear and prepared a gurney that was then pulled up into the hovering Chinook helicopter.

They may do this a dozen times or not all during the current climbing season. Either way, the training is necessary to keep them sharp, whether they are working the glacial slopes of Mount Rainier or the high deserts of Afghanistan.
 

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