Rescue Ready in Anniston
The development of new mountain bike trails on Coldwater Mountain near Anniston, Alabama has helped motivate the Anniston Fire Department to up the beat on its wilderness rescue response capabilities. A cycling accident on Coldwater Mountain last August helped the agency recognize the need for an improved response capability.
A rider had a bad crash and called 911 for assistance. The fire department ran into some difficulties in responding to the accident, but their strong efforts to reach, treat and extract the victim proved successful. After the incident the fire department decided they needed to make improvements in how they respond to such accidents. Since that time the agency has been training hard to rise to the challenges of wilderness accidents and they have made some sizable investments in equipment.
The Anniston Fire Department has been coordinating with the primary contractor on the trail construction effort, IMBA's Trail Solutions, to better sign and map the trails so that victims know where they are and can report their location more accurately. The firefighters have also been spending a lot of their off time getting to know the trails and improving their mountain biking skills; so that when a call comes in they will be ready to respond quickly and efficiently.
A recent article in the local newspaper, The Anniston Star, describes the work the fire department has been doing to improve their backcountry responses. Here is a link to that article: Anniston Fire Department buys $50K in Wilderness Rescue Gear