Safety - A Great Defense!  The most important part of this section is judgment and typically the most difficult to master.  Most really bad accidents are a collection of minor mistakes, each individually is no big deal.  The key is recognizing when the accumulated risk is too much and knowing when to back off before someone gets hurt.

Unfurtunately, many rescue classes concentrate solely on Rescue.  Although rescue techniques are important, prevention is a far better strategy.  Safety involves the less glamorous topics like:

  • Trip Planning
  • Maintenance
  • Training & Practice
  • Sound Judgment
  • Risk Management

Rescue skills are necessary when true accidents take place (or not preventing them in the first place).  Care must be taken to avoid additional victims.  Depending on the rescue, time is a critical success factor especially in heads down situations.  There are a number of effective rescue techniques as well as key gear like throw bags, carabiners, and of course a well supplied first aid kit.  I highly recommend taking both a SWR course and Wilderness First Aid training - both excellent investments.