Mountain Rescue Team
The Mountain Rescue Team is a specialized section within the Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue group. The team was inaugurated in 1994 in response to a request from the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment to respond to back country rescues in mountainous terrain. This group is made up of regular search and rescue members with specialist training who search for and rescue people in trouble either above the timberline or in high-angle areas below the timberline, which can include glacier, crevasse, backcountry and alpine search and rescue, they educate the population in safe activities so they will be able to avoid the dangers that result in the need for rescue.
In 1995 the team sought the accreditation of the Mountain Rescue Association, an International group of volunteer mountain rescue groups. The Rocky Mountain House Mountain Rescue Team holds the following international accreditations:
Snow/Avalanche, High angle Ice rescue, High angle Rock rescue, Search, and Medical. These qualifications are recertified every five years by different teams within North America.
The response area is primarily within Clearwater County being some 18,000 km2 bordering both Banff and Jasper national Parks and YahaTinda Ranch. The team, through SAR Alberta, will respond where needed and has assisted other agencies with their tasks. Over the years the mountain rescue team has had the opportunity to work with the National Parks service; Military Search and Rescue Technicians; Canadian USAR Task Force 2; Provincial Parks service; Sustainable Resource Development; and Local Police, Fire and SAR groups; on incidents and training.
Since the teams formation it has been awarded various awards and citations for rescues from the RCMP and other agencies.
The skill set of the team revolves around working in mountainous and a vertical environment, in all types of weather. Members skills are ever increasing, with those of new individuals who join the team. Individual team members backgrounds are that of local climbers and outdoors man. Specialist training is gained each month through local and outsourced training.