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Avalanche training keeps rescue crews busy

By KTVA CBS 11 News 12:04 PM January 26, 2014

Volunteers practice everything from digging techniques to medical care for avalanche victims.

ANCHORAGE – With warm winter weather comes increased avalanche danger, which is why Alaska search and rescue crews are conducting avalanche training this weekend in Hatcher Pass.

A group of about 60 volunteers from Southcentral Alaska communities met near Independence Mine State Park Saturday, focusing on honing life-saving winter rescue skills. They covered searching for buried people using transceivers, digging tips and medical care for avalanche victims.

Dean Knapp, a member of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, said it’s important to keep those skills fresh for the day they may become necessary.

“We don’t regularly search for people with avalanche beacons,” Knapp said. “We don’t regularly get in teams of 20 and do probe lines, we very seldom dig someone out of a slope that’s collapsed.”

Click here for more Alaska avalanche information.

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