What a ride I had this past week. As a NYS SAR first responder volunteer, I have unbelievable opportunities open to me. A self declared and recognized expert at map and compass land navigation, four years ago I was recruited by NYS Homeland Security to teach a course in Land Navigation to law enforcement, EMTs and SAR personnel from all over NY State.
At the same training facility location, NYS established a swiftwater/flood rescue training venue last year, designed by the same guy who designs Olympic whitewater competition and training facilities, this is the first such swiftwater rescue training facility in the nation. This 68 yr old spent the past week certifying as a swiftwater/flood rescue technician along with youngsters less than half my age. The initial requirement was a 250 meter swim test in an indoor pool using a variety of mandatory strokes. Fail the swim test and go home, as some did. The rest of the week was swimming and boating in madly rushing whitewater, pumped in a narrow channel at 100,000 gallons/minute capable of producing class 3+.
No matter the age, by day 3 everyone was a bit sore, but it felt good and was so much fun all for free.