Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team | Educating the community | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team | Educating the community

Photo courtesy Dirk Schoonmaker

TAHOE CITY and#8212; A fourth grade student peers out from a winter shelter and smiles as her classmates stand by, excitedly awaiting their turn to climb inside.

Another group makes big Xand#8217;s and Oand#8217;s in the snow as they learn about making distress signals. This scene akes place at each elementary school in the Tahoe Truckee area when volunteers with the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team make their yearly winter education visit to fourth graders in the community.

The Team gives an assembly about preparation for snow play, including things to bring and the Three Ws: Where are you going? Who are going going with? When will you be back?

Then the classes go outside and split into groups for three stations. The students learn what to do if they get lost.

and#8226; STOP: stop, think, observe and plan

and#8226; Build a shelter

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and#8226; Make signals outside their shelter so searchers can find them

The Team updated and reprinted the and#8220;Winter Awarenessand#8221; brochure, which provides a basic overview for winter preparedness and survival for skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts who venture into the winter environment. A copy is available at http://www.tahoenordicsar.com or ski shops and outdoors stores in the Tahoe Truckee area.

The Team also visits local high schools and shows the Teamand#8217;s video, and#8220;Winter Aware.and#8221; Winter Aware was developed by the Team to target the high school age group and tells a message of personal responsibility for staying safe in the mountains.

Featuring local well-known and respected skiers and snowboarders, it reviewed many of the skills from their fourth grade program as well as avalanche awareness and other winter safety topics.

and#8220;The goals of Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue have always been to conduct fast and safe searches and to help educate the public on winter safety,and#8221; said Team President, Russ Viehmann. and#8220;We can only search if people are lost, but the fourth grade program, the high school education program and the Winter Aware brochure that we put out all attend to that second goal.and#8221;

Conceived in 1976, the Team has more than 100 members who fulfill many different functions in the organization such as rescuing lost alpine and cross-country skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers, locating downed aircraft, rescuing stranded hikers and climbers, educating the public about mountain safety and many other support functions.

For more information, contact Pam at (530) 546-7393 or visit http://www.tahoenordicsar.com Donations to the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team are always appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible; non-profit tax ID #94-2737988.