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Quote of the Week
"(Our) bylaw department is a reactive department, not a proactive department"
- Kevin Robins  
Interim CAO   


Photo by Jeff Smith, Crowsnest Pass Search and Rescue
Operation Dark Squeeze, a cave rescue simulation exercise, takes place at Gargantua Cave this weekend, September 16th to 18th.
Exercise Dark Squeeze, an interprovincial, multi-agency rescue exercise will be taking place this
weekend at Gargantua Cave.
The exercise, organized by the Alberta Cave Rescue Organization (ACRO) and Search and Rescue Alberta, provides rescuers from
Alberta and B.C. the
opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills
utilized when performing a cave rescue and other large remote incidents.
The extensive cave
system, which is located roughly 16 kilometres southwest of Coleman in Ptolemy Mountain on the Alberta-B.C. border, serves as a fitting location for the exercise, as two cavers were rescued there last month, and it has been the site of numerous incidents in the past.
Gargantua Cave is a popular trip with cavers, tourists, hikers, scouts and school groups.
The upper passages, including Canada’s largest chamber, Boogle Alley, can be accessed without rope.
The bottom passages are accessible through the waterfall exit, and include an area of tight squeezes.
Most of the cave, roughly six kilometres of generally large passages, is accessible by passing
several pitches on rope.
Cavers, Search and Rescue teams, technical
rescue teams, responding agencies, and rescue
support organizations will work together to test their rescue, backcountry, logistical and management skills.
“The Crowsnest Pass Rescue Society is pleased to be working in conjunction with ACRO in the planning and delivery of Operation Dark Squeeze,” said Crowsnest Pass Rescue Chief Darryl Johnson.

“Partnerships such as this make for an efficient and effective emergency
response program here in the Crowsnest Pass.”
Activities will include caving, above and below ground rope rescue, patient management, quadding, helicopter operations, radio communication, and
incident management.
Volunteers will rescue mock subjects from the cave and evacuate them down the mountain.
A base camp will be set up in Blairmore for the
duration of the three-day exercise, and a base camp will be located at the base of the Ptolemy Mountain.
Resources will be transported using four-wheel drive trucks, ATVs and helicopters.
“This event is going to be the first of its kind on many levels,” said Sheri Easterbrook of Search and Rescue Alberta.
“Not only will two provinces be involved, but multiple rescue
organizations, all with unique skill sets, will be
included at every turn.”
“We encourage all members of Search and Rescue Alberta to get
involved, register and
Between 80 and 100 volunteers are expected to turn out to the event, which was made possible by an $80,000 provincial training grant from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency earlier this year.
For further information on the exercise, go to
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   Volume 81 - Issue 37   email:   $1.00   
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