First responders train for wilderness rescues at DuPont Forest

More then 200 emergency personnel from across the United States gathered in DuPont State Recreational Forest this past weekend for the 13th annual DuPont Rescue Experience.

The training exercise, which began Friday and concluded Sunday, was divided into four 12-hour operational periods and managed using the National Incident Management System.

This year the theme of the exercise was “Creating a culture of preparedness.” Training and scenarios involved combining knowledge, skills and abilities to overcome challenges found in the wilderness environment, officials said.

Sessions hosted by DuPont Rescue Experience instructors focused on search management, technical rope rescue, land navigation, wilderness EMS, mountain bikes in search and rescue, disaster communications, canines in search and rescue and incident management.

A Special training: Minimal Gear Sustainment class gave students the skills necessary to shelter in place overnight with minimal gear. It covered how the body loses heat and several ways to minimize it. Skills taught included campsite selection, what items to carry, knife/tool safety and use, shelter construction (manmade and natural materials), and fire-making.

The training is hosted each year by Mountain County Emergency Managers and local emergency response agencies. The training is considered one of the top search and rescue exercises in the nation.

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