By: randosteve|Posted on: November 25, 2008|Posted in: TCSAR | 2 comments

TCSAR dope ona rope
Randosteve making his first short-haul flight.

Well, its’ taken about a whole year, but I finally popped my cherry yesterday with short haul training for Teton Country Search and Rescue, and made my first flight hanging from the bottom of the helicopter.  I was little nervous before my first go around, but once I was hooked up to the rope and the helicopter lifted me off the ground, most of my nerves settled down because really you’re just a dope on a rope. Going through a few different flight scenarios, I flew solo, with another rescuer, while attending a litter and also flying with another rescuer while dangling our skis below us.  Seems like we still need to work out some bugs with that one though.

There are many safety concerns when dealing with the short haul technique, but it can also save a huge amount of time during insertion and extraction of a rescuer and patient.  Especially when the patient must be back-boarded on steep and technical terrain.  As short haulers, we all carry knives on our harnesses in the event there is a problem with the helicopter and we have to cut ourselves from the rope.  But realistically, it would be tough to really see yourself doing so.

Steve Romeo talks about his first flight with teammate
TCSAR teammate Mike Nelson listens to Randosteve
talk about his first short-haul.

Anyway, my TCSAR duties continued long into the night last night with a call-out for a lost and overdue hunter high on Crystal Butte on the east side of the town of Jackson. Luckily, there were no injuries, so an escort down the mountain was all that was needed, but still rather tricky in the dark and in very steep terrain. The upside for him was that he did shoot an elk, so hopefully he’ll be able to retrieve the meat without further assistance from us. Although that elk meat sure does sound tasty. Ciao for now!