train, plan, rehearse, execute, debrief.... train, plan, rehearse, execute, debrief..
Well, that time of year has arrived! The mountain is full of life! flowers, plants, animals, visitors.. We shall never tire of hearing a first-time hiker's exclamations when arriving at the summit! And for the Stewards, it's ALWAYS a thrill to be there! (every time I reach the summit, usually more than 30 times per year, I still feel that very same way... WOW!)
Mid-season, we are always busy training and talking with visitors, and sharing cool info about both Old Rag and our program.... and of course when our assistance is needed by a visitor, we are happy to be there and are ready to serve. From learning about the plants native to the thin soils of Old Rag to being able to use a map and compass with significant accuracy, from basic knot tying to sophisticated techniques of ascending and descending with rope.. it's all for a higher level of professionalism..
To work on Old Rag as a Steward means to be able to act and react as needed. It may be a rare flower being crushed by off trail hiking... and then it may also be a matter of life or death.
"I wanted to thank everyone involved for the fantastic job they did in getting Dave stabilized and up to the helicopter. Everyone was incredibly collected, professional, and thinking ahead at every single step as a team on how best to help Dave. I want to particularly thank the first responders, Jeremy and his partner, who got Dave stabilized and followed through until he was off the ground.
..he had surgery on his ankle last night, which appears to have gone well, and his is undergoing surgery this morning for a fractured pelvis. He also has a fractured elbow. I don't know of any other injuries beyond those - -Thanks again for a job well done."
"Dear Old Rag Mountain Stewards (Jeremy and the Gang of Orange Shirts),
I just wanted to write and tell you how much we appreciated your help yesterday. You got there so quick and did such a good job of helping to take care of Dave and helicopter him to safety. It is hard for me to believe how quickly you got there and how much help you were once you arrived. We could not have gotten him to safety with out you folks, the NPS rangers, and the very helpful set of hikers from DC whose help was so important.
Dave is doing well. He has a compound left ankle fracture, a broken pelvis and a elbow fracture, but no other injuries that we are aware off. He was in surgery last night at Fairfax for the ankle and this morning for the pelvis.Thanks again for all of your help."
"It was indeed remarkable how quickly Jeremy and his partner arrived, and as you say it couldn't have happened if they had not already been on the mountain and with pre-positioned equipment. I don't know if this was standard procedure or just lucky timing, but in either regard I'm thankful.
I've never participated in a rescue before, but I can imagine how much training it must take for different possible scenarios. .. I can't think of anything that could have been done better.