Q&A with author Hal Clifford

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Mountain rescue: life and death on a rescue team

Q&A with author Hal Clifford

Do young rescuers get too enthusastic?
Are team members all volunteers?
How can I get involved?
A team member responds to the book
Aspen's only one of many excellent rescue teams
I want to climb--where can I learn how?
What are the qualifications for volunteering on a rescue team?
Did I really say that?
Is this book just for mountain rescue volunteers?
How dangerous is rescue work? How did you get involved in it?
How can I get rescue training?
What about the fatal Mt. Rainier rescue this summer?
Should people pay for their own rescues?

How can I get involved?
How did you get involved in rescue work, and do you think that it is something anyone could get involved in?
William Rosehart
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
[email protected]

Hal responds: As I mentioned in a response to an earlier question, I became involved in Mountain Rescue-Aspen because I wanted to write this book. It had been my original intention to simply hang out with the team for a while as a journalist, but the team told me if I wanted to understand what they did, I would have to participate. That led to my joining the team in order to report on it, a process which took three years and led to the book.

Various rescue teams have various criteria for membership. Some, such as the one in Boulder, Colorado, have long waiting lists. Others (such as Aspen's at the moment), have spaces open. Seattle's requires strong mountaineering skills, and would-be members must demonstrate those skills. Others are less stringent, looking for time and energy more than specific skills. Most also require minimal medical training, such as CPR and First Responder. Contact your local sheriff's office to find out what rescue organizations are in your area.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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