a technical course presented by the Rocky Mountain and Western Regions of the
NATIONAL CAVE RESCUE COMMISSION of the National Speleological Society
Oak City, Utah, September 18-19, 2021
with an optional Vertical Practice on September 17, 2021
About the Seminar
The Orientation to Cave Rescue (OCR) will introduce you to nationally-adopted cave rescue practices and the caving environment from a rescue perspective. The seminar consists of both classroom and field exercises, and will provide valuable skill sets for cavers, emergency rescue personnel, and SAR teams. Topics include equipment, cave search theory and technique, patient medical assessment, working under the Incident Command System during a cave rescue, extrication, communication, patient packaging, litter movement through a cave, hazardous environments underground, psychological considerations, and more. This seminar will also help prepare you for the week-long cave rescue training classes offered by the National Cave Rescue Commission.
Students are required to participate in all portions of the course, which include physically demanding field exercises and in-cave operations. Students should be prepared to work in difficult situations, both above and below ground.
There are no prerequisites beyond minimal personal equipment. The Orientation to Cave Rescue is designed for anyone who has an interest in cave rescue or wilderness search and rescue. Both recreational cavers and agency personnel will benefit from this course.
Those under 18 will need to contact the course coordinator to make arrangements prior to registration.
The OCR begins Saturday, September 18, with check-in at 7:30 am (Mountain time) at the Oak City Town hall. Class on Saturday will be in and near the Oak City Town hall, with a lunch break (bring your own) and a dinner break (dinner provided). After dinner there will be optional hands-on stations until 8:30 pm if you'd like to get some extra practice. On Sunday, September 19, a mock rescue will be held at a nearby cave from approximately 8 am to 4 pm.
An optional vertical training session is available on Friday, September 17 from 5 to 8 pm. If attending, please bring any vertical caving gear you have. Practice sets will also be available.
Required Personal Equipment
Students must have the following personal equipment:
One or two locking carabiners
One or two large garbage bags (contractor size works best)
Small candle and matches/lighter
Wrist watch to be worn underground (cell phones for time keeping aren’t recommended)
Paper/pencil for underground use (i.e. small notebook with golf pencil)
Meals and Lodging
Dinner on Saturday evening is included. All other meals are on your own. Your lunch on Sunday may be eaten in the cave, so bring something portable.
Camping (up Oak Creek Canyon) is included for Friday and Saturday nights. Any other lodging option is on your own.
White Nose Syndrome
Bring only gear, clothes, footwear, etc. that has not been used in White-nose Syndrome areas. All gear brought to the seminar needs to be new or decontaminated according to the latest protocols: https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/topics/decontamination
Registration is $55 per person, with a discount of $10 if you are a National Speleological Society (NSS) member. A convenience fee of $3 is charged to help cover credit card processing. On September 13, registration increases $10 per person. If you are not able to come, there are no refunds, but you may find someone to substitute for you. Class size limit is 25.
With the recent uptick in Covid, we are requiring that all attendees either be fully vaccinated and show their vaccination card or a Covid-negative test taken within 72 hours of the seminar. And of course, if you're feeling sick, stay home. Also, please bring a mask, we will be determining when and where we need to wear these.
For questions, contact Gretchen Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, I am a current NSS member. NSS Number required.
No, I am not a current NSS member.
Basic registration is offered only to NSS Members. If you're not an NSS Member, you should be!
Optional vertical practice to learn/enhance your single rope technique (SRT) skills.
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