Different agencies, both private and public, practiced pulling victims from the snow after an avalanche. The scenario-based training at the Mount Rose summit Wednesday brought together North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Washoe County HASTY team volunteers an members of the Mount Rose and Diamond Peak Ski patrols. The training was all about improving communication and organization among first responders who may work together in a back-country emergency.

The group practiced designating leaders and assigning resources to find the mock victims, a scented sweaters, buried beacons and a dummy. "We had things buried for the dogs to find, we had things buried for a probe line to find, we had beacons buried." says Andrew Hennigh, Avalanche Forecaster with Mount Rose Ski Resort. 
"It's really a man power intensive issue, right? Digging and shoveling and probing," says Dave Melkonian with North Tahoe Fire Protection District, "I need people." That is why it's important to pull resources from any where they can. 

Experts say training with the beacons, shovels and probes is relatively easy, it just takes repetition. Most agencies practice internally on a regular basis, but they can't always practice on-scene communication with other agencies.

"The things that frequently cause problems or complications are the way it's structured," says Melkonian, "And my goal with this training is that we become logistics masters and masters of organization."

"Basically we can sort of hash out any sort of issues we have as far as interagency cooperation goes," says Hennigh.

After debriefing and discussing the scenario, each person involved will take a survey to get a better understanding of what needs improvement.