Preventative Search and Rescue Volunteer

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ORGANIZATION: National Park Service

Preventative Search and Rescue Volunteer

Catoctin Mountain Park

Park volunteers will be participating in the Catoctin Mountain Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) program throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

The volunteer’s primary role in the program will be to provide coverage on the Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Trails during the hours of 11 AM to 6 PM on weekends and holidays, disseminating hiker safety information with the goal of preventing hiker injury.

During a normal PSAR duty day, volunteers will be asked to hike from 2 to 4 miles on a mountainous, rocky trail and stand near/at the high risk SAR locations (Chimney Rock & Wolf Rock). Special assignments and emergency situations may increase this mileage up to 8 miles. However, a volunteer will not be required to perform any assignment that a volunteer is uncomfortable with, not trained to perform or that a supervisory ranger deems unsafe.

The final and most important responsibility for all volunteers, and for the rangers supervising them, is safety. As with any emergency operation, a rescuer’s first safety concern is to him/herself, second is to fellow rescuers, and third is to the patient(s). Each individual has the responsibility to bring up any safety concern, at any time, without hesitation. Volunteers should not take part in any action that they deem unsafe or feel uncomfortable with or not trained to perform. They also have the responsibility for reporting any medical condition or illnesses that may affect their performance and safety.

Volunteers should not deviate from their daily assignments and/or take part in any action not within this job description unless agreed upon between the volunteer and a supervisory ranger, and such action is organized and carried out with primary regard for the safety of all involved. Any and all injuries occurring to a volunteer while performing a service for Catoctin Mountain Park must be reported to a supervising ranger. Any disregard to or violation of safety procedures by a volunteer can result in the immediate dismissal of that individual from the PSAR volunteer program.

Major Duties

· During a PSAR rove, volunteers will be expected to:

Give thorough and accurate hiker safety presentations to day hikers. These presentations may include, but will not be limited to:

§ Information concerning safe hiking destinations and un-safe actions

§ Proper hydration.

§ Proper footwear and equipment.

§ Heat illness and its effects on hikers.

§ Resource protection and interpretation.

· Recognize and treat hikers with medical concerns, appropriate to their certified level of training.

· Communicate any details related to a SAR/injured hiker that occurs near their vicinity to responding personnel via radio

· Report any unsafe trail conditions (trees down, rock slides, washouts, etc) or resource damage to or informing their Ranger Supervisor.

· Additional assignments (which will be discussed and agreed upon between the supervisor Ranger and each volunteer) may include, but will certainly not be limited to:

§ Litter carry-outs

§ Search and rescue missions

§ SAR supply inventories

· Volunteers will check in/out with a ranger each time they come to volunteer. This will allow the volunteers to receive daily assignments, re-supply equipment needs and debrief on daily issues.

· Remove litter and trash along the trails.

· Remove minor trail hazards such as sticks, small logs, and loose rocks.

· Document all actions/contacts with hikers.

· Post trail closures as needed.

· Report vandalism, missing signage and other trail related issues to their Ranger Supervisor.

· Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills Required

· Ability to contact visitors in a professional manner that demonstrates attention, courtesy and respect for other points of view.

· Ability to handle difficult questions and complaints and should refer visitors to the correct resources when appropriate.

· Ability to lift/carry 50 lbs.

· Ability to hike up to 8 miles with elevation change.

· Ability to utilize a radio to communicate.

· Knowledge of orienteering skills: reading a map, use of compass, use of a GPS

· Specialized knowledge in:

o Distinguishing between basic hiker assistance and medical intervention.

o Know which situations require a higher level of emergency care and how to judge the urgency for that response.

Physical Demands

Special assignments, emergency situations and other circumstances may require a volunteer to work later than 6 PM. The above situations may also require volunteers to remain on duty for extended periods of time. Some duties may also require strenuous physical activity such as carrying heavy items over rugged, precipitous, and sometimes unstable terrain.

Work Environment

Volunteers will be asked to work in a wide range of weather conditions.

Training Provided by NPS

· Radio use

· CPR/AED/First Aid

· Litter Carryouts, other SAR techniques

· Park Trails/Locations

Start Date - 2024-06-30

End Date - 2025-06-30

Activities include: General Assistance;Visitor Information

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