John and Mit spent the July-4 holiday weekend at BSP, the first weekend of 'above tree-line hiking' was open to the public. SAR team camp has been relocated this year to a beautiful abandoned campground on a peninsula on Upper Togue Pond close to the Togue Gate.
Upon arriving in the park an MFS short-haul helicopter rescue of a tib-fib break injured hiker was about to begin. Mit setup near the Togue Gate and watched the summit rescue unfold while John, upon his arrival in the park, drove to the LZ at Abol Bridge to assist in patient unloading. WRT and Chimney Pond ranger Jen, conducted patient stabilization and packaging on the summit. It was great to watch this rescue progress.
After setting up an awesome campsite, Mit and John met with the new BSP chief ranger Dan R. and got the (already quite active) SAR season report for the park. There are a number of new park employees this year and it looks like a great crew. The park has already had a number of incidents this year: significant flooding, a forest fire, unauthorized access and injuries in addition to COVID-19 changes.
In addition to the important tasks of paddling, fishing, watching 'campfire t.v.', and eating some great meals, on Saturday afternoon we were activated for a rescue at chimney pond. FSAR hiked up to Chimney Pond to assist an injured hiker down to the Roaring Brook campground along with Dan the new chief ranger. The patient had a knee injury and we assisted him by carrying his backpack and with encouraging/focusing verbal cues on the hike down. Although there was no physical contact with the patient, the rescuers and the patient wore masks and practiced social distancing.
We field-tested the new hands-free hand washing station fabricated by Pat, it worked so great we made a YouTube video to share with others who may be interested. Check it out https://www.youtube.com/
We left the park in the late afternoon on Sunday just as thunderstorms were rolling in.
Overall it was a great weekend and we would encourage ANY FSAR team member, who has been hiking regularly this season (has their trail-legs!) to participate in the next FSAR Baxter SAR duty weekend on Aug 1-2 or Sept. 5-7, Oct. 3-4. Talk with Pat C. the team BSP Coordinator if you are interested.