2016 Funding Priority | Amount needed $19,400 | FUNDED
This project will enable the park to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Search and Rescue staff. The park does not have a regular funding source for this equipment, and employees regularly use their own gear at their own expense. Operations are hampered while gear is collected from peoples’ cars and homes rather than from a central location with standardized equipment. The off-trail environment and weather in the Olympics are particularly hard on gear and a centrally-maintained cache would greatly improve our ability to support both visitors and park Search and Rescue personnel.
The park does not currently possess GPS (Global Positioning System) or SPOT (situation, position, observation, task) devices for personnel to use while searching or patrolling in the wilderness. Relying on a few personally owned GPS devices does not allow for thorough and efficient searching or mapping during incidents. SPOT devices will provide a layer of safety for rescuers in the field, allowing ongoing incident tracking. Sturdy boots are another piece of equipment recommended by the park’s medical advisor as essential for safe off-trail travel.
Search and Rescue incidents unfold in adverse weather and terrain, and under stressful circumstances. With the right equipment, responders can focus on their mission to assist visitors in crisis. Rescuer safety must always be our first priority. Field staff will be equipped to respond in shorter time-frames. Staff will be able to use better technology to perform their duties more efficiently, potentially reducing the time a visitor is in distress before an incident is resolved.