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OSRT Search Team Conducts Cold Weather-Night Search Exercises

While seemingly half of the country was hunkered down in fear of the severe winter storm of January 20th, members of units 3 & 7 of the Ohio Special Response Team were actively conducting cold weather/night search and rescue exercises in Geauga County, Ohio.

The team assembled during a literal white-out to conduct a mock search for a “hunter” who had fallen from a tree stand to become trapped 8 feet off the ground, hanging from his left shoulder. In 10+ inches of snow, at 13 degree temperatures (less than 3 degrees with wind chill) the team searched 10 acres of wooded land. (It's OK, Alaska, we know you're tougher than we are!)

Once they located the victim, they rigged a rope rescue pulley system and sit harness to lift the victim enough vertical distance to free his shoulder from the crotch of the tree. The victim was then carefully lowered and placed in a stretcher for evacuation (suitably bundled to keep him warm).

The second evolution of the exercise involved locating a victim at night and evacuating him to safety. The team even took time out to practice starting survival fires with minimal resources.

Short explanation of a 10 hour evolution: It was dark. It was cold and we all made it out in one piece!!


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