Avalanche Dogs Perform AirMed Training at Utah Olympic Park

We aren't the only ones preparing for ski season. A few weeks ago our Avalanche Dogs had a day of training and testing at Utah Olympic Park. Teams from throughout northern Utah descended upon the UOP to allow the dogs to socialize, undergo obedience testing and perform "hot load" training with AirMed.

In the morning, the Avalanche dogs were asked to perform a series of commands and basic obedience skills. Passing this test allows the patrol and avalanche dog team to be eligible for another season of work. Next was practicing a "hot-load" into the AirMed helicopters. A "hot-load" means the handler and dog must load a helicopter while it is still running. This practice allows the avalanche dogs to become comfortable around a running helicopter, something that makes most humans uncomfortable, but allows a quicker and safer search in the backcountry. After the "hot-load", dogs were taken on a short flight! Our newest member of the Park City avalanche dog team, Tremper, was a huge fan of flying in the helicopter and even wanted to stick his nose out the window. What a brave puppy!

The day ended with allowing the dogs to swim in the UOP freestyle training pool. Some even jumped off the ramps!

For more information on this training day and additional photos, please visit Wasatch Backcountry Rescue.

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thumbnail Zeke waiting for his turn to load the chopper.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail The morning started with socializing and obedience testing.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail PCMR's Bert and Stella performing skills.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail Teams from throughout northern Utah joined the training.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail Tremper and Andrew perform a hot-load into the AirMed helicopter.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail Bert and Stella.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail Bell 407 AirMed heli.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail The day ends with a happy group of dogs swimming in the pool.  Andy VanHouten


thumbnail Zeke has perfect form leaping into the pool.  Andy VanHouten