Being outdoors is, for many people, one of the great pleasures in life. Whether out in wide open spaces, walking in hills and mountains, or navigating the crashing waves at the seashore, contact with the natural environment is good for us. Except, that is, for when it isn’t, when the curse of bad luck or poor judgement means that something goes dreadfully wrong.
When things get out of hand and we need assistance, emergency services like volunteer firefighters and ambulance crews are typically there for us. But in many communities, rescue service volunteers are the first responders, especially in rural or coastal areas where they have the highest levels of training and skills needed to rescue people in peril. These volunteers put themselves forward to save the lives of those who face extreme conditions, regardless of the usually dangerous, life-threatening situations they face.
In this Along the Web, writer Arnie Wickens writes about emergency services volunteers who are experienced specialists in the art of outdoor rescues. Whether climbing up mountains, diving into lakes and oceans, or venturing into underground caves, these volunteers are true lifesavers when something outdoors goes wrong.