By MCpl Chris Vernon
THUNDER BAY – Rangers – A group of 14 Canadian Ranger instructors and army support staff from Ontario’s 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3CRPG) spent five days north of Parry Sound recently dangling from a cliff as they completed a challenging Technical Rope Rescue Technician course.
Lead by Dan Kirvan from the Ottawa-based company Raven Rescue, participants spent time both in the classroom and perched atop a cliff.
Canadian Ranger Instructor Warrant Officer Ron Wen said the course is important because it ties in with other rope rescue training Ranger Instructors receive, including ice and swift water rescue techniques.
“It gives the instructors the ability to work and operate with rope on a high angle while performing rescues,” said Warrant Officer Wen.
Once completed, Ranger Instructors receive an international rescue certification from the National Fire Protection Association.
So far this year, members of 3CRPG have participated in 17 ground search-and-rescue missions, rescuing 23 people, including two stranded truckers on an ice road, an injured Attawapiskat First Nation snowmobiler and two young hunters whose ATVs broke down, leaving them stranded about 100 kilometres away from their communities.
During the course, Raven Rescue staff taught participants a host of rope rescue skills and techniques, including:
- Intermediate and advanced anchor systems;
- Compound and complex pulley systems;
- Placing artificial anchor points;
- Installation of horizontal change of directions;
- Passing knots, anchors and deviations while ascending/descending;
- Performing rope transfers/changeovers;
- Casualty care and packing for horizontal and vertical transport.
The Canadian Rangers are a 5,000-member sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces’ primary reserve, whose mandate is to provide military presence in Canada’s far north. Members assist with search-and-rescue, other domestic operations, and serve as Canada’s eyes and ears in the nation’s sparsely populated northern territory. Many members are Indigenous and First Nations, and serve in the communities they live.