Rescue team tries out new raft

Members of the Mesa County Search and Rescue team guide their new Rapid Deployment Craft during a training session Sunday at Monument View Lake.The inflatable raft allows rescuers to encircle victims, then pull them to safety. It also can be used on snow and ice.

The Mesa County Search and Rescue Swift Water Rescue Team spent Sunday training for situations that, ideally, they will never face.

However, Doug Sieckert, a seven-year member of Search and Rescue and a four-year member of the Swift Water Rescue Team, has been around long enough to know that up to 20 times a year the volunteers with Search and Rescue will respond to area rivers, ponds or lakes for a variety of circumstances, he said.

On Sunday, the team tested the new Rapid Deployment Craft that it received last week from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs with funds generated from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and boat, snowmobile and ATV registrations in the state.

The inflatable raft is lightweight and can be used on open water, snow and ice, and also can be pulled either by boat or snowmobile, making it a versatile piece of equipment, Sieckert added.

Members of Search and Rescue took turns swimming in the chilly water Sunday at Monument View Lake, a lake privately owned by Rich Kedrowski.

He opened his property for training, while boat operators circled around, pulling people from the water.

Visit for a short video from Sunday’s training.


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