MOUNT DESERT — Volunteer rescue groups from around Maine came to Mount Desert Island last week for a three-day advanced training workshop hosted by MDI Search and Rescue.
Part of the training was a simulated rope rescue on the high oceanside cliffs at Cooksey Drive Preserve in Mount Desert.
Two teams of about a dozen people each rigged a complex system of ropes, then lowered two team members down the sheer vertical cliff face and hauled them back up.
Participants included members of the Wilderness Rescue Team of Waterville, Franklin Search and Rescue of Farmington and Mahoosuc Mountain Rescue Team of Bethel, and Acadia National Park rangers. The guest instructors were rescue rigging experts from Colorado.
Steve Hudson, a longtime member of Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue and vice president of the Maine Association for Search and Rescue, said such training programs give participants an opportunity to update their skills and learn “the latest techniques for building and operating rescue systems.”
“They also allow members of Maine rescue teams to work together and become familiar with each other’s equipment and methods,” he said.