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DelAska’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 04 Aug 2007

Location: Eagle River, AK, USA

MapThe Eagle River Fire Department, Station 11 of the City of Anchorage hosted or training for this last full day. Training included swift water and technical (low angle) rescue. We were trained in water wear – one piece fleece suit, dry suit, rubber gloves and shoes that looked like mid cut hikers. We wore life jackets and helmets. The water does not run really fast, but faster than one can swim against. The problem is temperature and hypothermia at a chilly 42 º. With the face exposed, it was really a shock, but the adrenaline rush made it quickly go away. While floating downstream, it was difficult to avoid the rocks, but we learned some techniques – on your back feet up and pointed downstream, point your head to the direction of desired travel. The training staff was very professional and safe. They had several back-up systems in place for those who missed the bag tossed, and no one floated to the inlet.

Our next excursion was technical rescue. We worked with the equipment (ropes, carabineer, figure eight, pulley and anchor systems…) to extricate a “victim” from the bottom of a steep embankment. The same equipment used for high angle rescue. The team was outstanding in their effort.