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Search & Rescue Prepares for Holiday Weekend

Search & Rescue Prepares for Holiday Weekend



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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingPeople will be heading to the outdoors this weekend to picnic, hike and rock-climb. Search and Rescue will be there, too.

It seems every Memorial Day, we're reporting on a fallen hiker or someone who got washed downstream. When that happens, volunteers from Search and Rescue teams respond. Right now, they're gearing up for a busy weekend.

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Members of the Salt Lake County Search & Rescue team train hard to be ready for an emergency. Team member Mike Brehm says, "I've helped out, along with other members, on water rescues, avalanche rescues, climbing, hiking, lost people."

On holiday weekends like Memorial Day, they get even more calls because more people are out enjoying the outdoors. And the 40 team members will be ready.

In a demonstration, a team member had to get to a woman who was stranded on the rock. It's a scenario that's not uncommon.

Daniel Smith, vice commander, Salt Lake County Search & Rescue, said, "We have some amazing canyons in this area, but very dangerous canyons. They might be walking along and slip off a trail and a rock might come down and injure them, or they might just get lost."

A lot of times, accidents happen when people are trying activities that are beyond their abilities.

"I think as individuals we have a tendency to think we can do more than we can," Smith said.

When it comes to playing around water, people may not be thinking about danger, but rescuers say these streams move extremely fast.

Rescuer Shane Taylor said, "The water would immediately knock you over and wash you downstream. You could probably go a mile before we could get to you."

If you're heading anywhere near the mountains this weekend, be prepared, just in case.

Rescue team members train for these emergencies throughout the year, but they say they'd love to see an uneventful Memorial Day weekend where no one is hurt.

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