OLD TOWN — Maine Forest Rangers perform dozens of rescues each year on the Appalachian Trail, Acadia National Park, and Baxter State Park.
The Maine Forest Rangers practice the short-haul helicopter training method multiple times a month, for rescues in areas inaccessible by land vehicles.
Thomas Liba, a Maine Forest Ranger expresses certain procedures involving helicopter flight, “We review National Transportation Safety Board investigations regarding aircraft so we can better ourselves.”
“We try our best so we can have real-life scenarios in what we call a typical train. We are not out at the airport, but we are in the hills somewhere. We have certain locations that we routinely go through that mimic what we might see in real-world missions,” said Liba.
The Maine Forest Rangers assist the ranger pilots in whatever way possible. Rangers use specially designed rope and rescue harness to extract those in danger, so they can be properly transported to safety.
Maine Forest Ranger Joel Tourtelotte says one aspect of his job is making sure the maintenance is running smoothly, “We kinda keep track of the maintenance, we make sure inspections are being done and required maintenance is being done.”
The Maine Forest Rangers practice their short-haul training every other Tuesday in Old Town.