Vail Mountain Rescue Group
is made up of about 40 team members with a broad array of essential skills. Team members still provide their own personal equipment, and perform as many as 100 annual missions across all seasons.
The men and women of VMRG are your neighbors. They are unpaid and on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are responsible for all backcountry search and rescue missions in Eagle County, providing a safety net for those who become lost, injured or need aid. This often involves personal risk on the part of the rescue team volunteers. If these volunteers were paid, the cost would be over $3,000,000 per year to Eagle County residents.
When not on mission, these volunteers are artists, business people, shopkeepers, backcountry guides, EMTs, ski patrollers and retirees.
8,000 hours a year are devoted to training and missions, which occur in wilderness area with diverse terrain. Missions serve to rescue:
- Hikers, bikers, climbers and other non-snow mountain goers
- Kayakers and rafters
- Skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and snowmobilers
- Hunters, paragliders and cavers
- People caught in natural disasters
The National Guard’s High Altitude Training Group in Gypsum assists VMRG with 15% to 20% of the missions in order to reduce delays in reaching victims and to extract injured persons from areas that are difficult or too time consuming for medical reasons to reach by foot. Significant joint training is conducted each year to enable this very important teamwork.