Field Team Member Weekend One: Knot First

How to tie yourself in knots in a middle school cafeteria.


This spells trouble

One of the first things we were handed after entering the school was a small length of rope.  This is one of the last things I would advise giving my husband if you want him to behave.It was not long before he began to “practice” tying several different kinds of knots then wearing them on his head like a hat.

We were sitting in a cafeteria in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains learning how to be Field Team Members for Search and Rescue.   Its a 5 day course on how to be a useful member of a search team rather than a liability.  My husband and I were quickly separated into different groups.  A very wise move.  We were able to be fairly well behaved for most of the lectures.  (Except for that small period of time when a length of rope was thrown or slid between two certain tables.)

We met search volunteers from all walks of life.  Several of the attendees are fire fighters and police, while many are people who spend work days sitting behind a desk just like the next guy.  They all share one thing in common. Every individual is willing to be woken up by a telephone call at 1 am, immediately drive to a place they have never been, and spend the rest of the night scrambling around the wilderness in search of a person they have never met.

Searching for someone who is lost, scared, and possibly injured is serious business. The emergency department of Benton County put it this way,  “Rescuers face pressures to accomplish very difficult tasks even though they may be fatigued, deprived of sleep and comfort. Rescuers must constantly assess their ability to perform what they are requested to do without undue threat to their own safety.”

There are so many different kinds of search and rescue specialties.  The man running the training specializes in cave rescues.  How awesome is that?  There are canine units, walkers, climbers, water rescue, medical, pilots, horse mounted teams, sign cutters (trackers), and law enforcement to name a few.

Falling off of a cliff because one of my knots isn’t up to snuff is high on my list of things I wish not to happen in the future.  I am practicing my knots.  Lots and lots of knots.

A wonderful website showing animated knots for search and rescue: Grogs Animated Knots.


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