Thursday, June 17, 2010

Staff Party at Nemacolin's Shooting Academy.

Steak and Shoot with Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours Staff went off with a bang.

What a great time this was. Joel Means the Owner of OTP decided that our staff needed a night out and we loaded up a couple company vans and went to Nemacolin's Shooting Academy. This was great.
Waivers had to be signed and we were no stranger to understand what that meant. There is definitely risk of bodily injury whenever you have guns but Nemacolin does a great job in preaching safety and establishing safe protocols from the second you choose your gun.
The majority of guns used there are double barrel over under. These are carried open or broken down so there cannot be a possibility of it being able to fire.

We all really enjoyed a chance to pose with our gun of choice. To choose you just looked at what the Shooting Academy had and picked it. It was like being a kid in a candy store. We selected 12 gauge Brownings and Berettas. They had a beautiful collection of shot guns.

We all got golf carts which had special racks on the front to carry the ammunition and there were multiple gun racks inside the cab and on the back of the cart to safely secure your firearms.

Stands were strategically built along the cart path and you went from stand to stand for the target shooting. Clay pigeons were the objectives and we had a lot of them to shoot.

Audi-mated Throwers were strategically placed to launch the bird in a multitude of directions and angles toward the shooter. It was really something. At one station you could have two shooting at one time and if you waited just for the right moment you could hit both with one shot.

Here you can see the bird out in front, the orange disk. This is what we all competed with one another to hit. It was great fun and challenge. The key was to lead it just a bit and then squeeze the trigger while you were swinging the gun on its trajectory.

Clyde, shown here with the hat on, is one of our River Guides Father and he was a professional at the finer points of skeet shooting. He told us how to shoot the pigeons and how to empty and reload the gun. It was great. The bin on the front of the stand is for empty shotgun shells.

There are 28 Gauge shotguns and ammo available for the ladies. This is a smaller calibre gun that will give confidence and less recoil to the feminine shooter.

The stations are beautiful. Isolated on the property your field of vision an be totally dedicated to the bird to zero in your shooting skills. The scenery is purely Pennsylvania.

Anytime you have guns safety is the number one priority and Nemacolin and it's professional staff make this element prevalent at all times. Only the shooter has a loaded gun and loading does not happen until the shooter is in position.

The course pros will diagnose your shooting problems and get you on track to performing on a higher level. It is really good to have someone there to give you some tips and release the pigeons.

Gun racks are strategically located at the stations for relaxing and watching your friends shoot.

Afterwards you can have a steak dinner to top fee the appetite you got from shooting.
The Wednesday Steak and Shoot is a great time and highly recommend it to everyone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Memorial Day starts off the rafting season.

Schools out now it's time to raft.

Rafting is a great summer adventure and rafting in Ohiopyle is a good place for beginners and intermediates a like. Here are some of our guides and guests starting the season off right with some good wave hits at Cucumber Rapid on the Lower Yough.

Our guides in the boats can show people where the camera is that takes the photos so they can see themselves back at base camp. For those that do not want to have a guide in the boat, our guides stand on the side of the river or in key spots in the river to assist them if they have an out of boat experience.

Here you can see someone having and out of boat experience as they are hanging on the side of the boat. Their friends just reached over the side and pulled them back in. It's a lot of fun and makes heroes out of your buddies.

This is a pretty good hit on the wave in Cucumber. Notice the people are all wet and stoked.

Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours would like to thank all of the Staff and Guests for being a part of another adventure filled season on the Youghiogheny River. 2010 is going to be a great year and we are looking forward to making memories on the water.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Staff First Responder and Basic First Aid Requirements

First Responder and Basic First Aid are requirements to become an OTP River Guide.

Swift Water Rescue is an extremely important aspect of the river guide makeup, but once you get the person out of the river it is very important you know what to do with them once you have them. Here are some great images to show how our staff trains each pre-season to have the required First Aid and First Responder Skills necessary to become an Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours Guide.

Trip Leaders and more senior staff are required to gain and renew their First Responder Certificates which are basically a high level of care that is above Basic First Aid and just below the scope of care for an EMT.

Injuries are a part of life and on the river there is more potential for injury than on your couch at home safe in your living room. On the river we want to be on our toes and know how to react in a care giving situation. Practicing these techniques on dry land solidifies the process so we are moving with purpose if needed on the river bank.

Head and Neck injuries require delicacy.

Here we are practicing getting someone on a back board to carry them off the river banks to a vehicle or ambulance, that can access our area by the bike trail. The Bike Trail runs the length of the Middle and Lower section of the Youghiogheny River.
Moving a person in this state is moving with purpose. Team work is a must and moving slow and deliberately is crucial to keep from doing more harm to the victim. Practice makes perfect.

Stabilizing the head is what our local senior instructor Packey is calling to attention in this photo. The person controlling the head is the person in charge of everything. Telling the others what to do is their job and moving together when the leader is ready is paramount.

Backboards on the River

Backboards are large plastic or wood flat supports that are very difficult to carry along on the raft for every trip. That is why the DCNR Park Service positions and maintains locations where backboards are stored on the river. Our river guides are trained to know where these are located and how to use them during and extraction. Here you can see our staff "Wrapping the Package", or getting the victim ready to transport.

Moving a person with a backboard is not easy.

The river is made up of large boulders, water, trees and various angles, so is the river bank. Negotiating this environment is slippery and difficult. The worst thing you would not want to do with someone after you have bandaged them up is drop them, but it's not easy.

Although we hope to never use any of these techniques or procedures with our guests we must practice and ready ourselves for such situations. Being a river guide is more than just herding people down the river or telling them where to go. It's a combination of entertaining, providing adventurer, leading and giving care if needed. We take pride in Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours Staff and educating them above and beyond the industry standard is our standard.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swiftwater Rescue with Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours

Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours takes pride in having a well trained staff. Not only in understanding the river and it's many details at different levels, but to be well rounded in First Aid, CPR, and Swift Water Rescue Techniques.
Every spring our staff hold these programs for new trainees taught by Staff Instructors, as well as refreshing our seasoned staff to knock off the rust. Upholding these standards in the white water community is paramount, so we know what to do when our guests don't.

Here are some examples of this years training and refresher courses.

Class is in Session: Jeremy was head instructor this year getting his swift water rescue instructor certification in Spring of 2008. Class is in session on the river, where else. It's really informative and a lot of fun.

Ropes are always a big part of river rescue and here is an example of line assist techniques to aid in getting a rescuer out to the scene.

Proper belay techniques are crucial in setting up a quick anchor for the line. Majority of times, tremendous forces are applied to the ropes and one person holding them is just not enough. Here you can see a three person belay where the rope is anchored with assistance.

Watch the Line Assisted Crossing in action.

Sometimes the water is to deep to get a secure footing or carefully wade across. The next technique we teach is a modified zip line that creates an angle which allows the rescuer to clip into the line and body ferry with help from the current to the destination. This is really a lot of fun but useful in deep water situations.

Here a person can use their flip line and clip it on to the work line of the system and slide down in a zip. This is really quick and fun as well. The key to this is having an angle set up across the river so the current will push you to the right direction.

Sometimes just slowing down the whole rescue and moving with purpose is the fastest way.

Rescue PFD's
are used for clipping in lines and swimming after people that need assistance. We use this jacket with a tether like device that can allow the swimmer to be attached to the line or quickly get free with a built in release mechanism designed into the vest. These work really well when you need both of your hands to grab something and let your buddies pull you back home to safety.

Here are some of our new trainees that were tuning into a superhero guides. Doesn't this just look like so much fun? "It was". You hold an extra bit of rope in your downstream hand and then toss it like you are tossing the parachute cord then it's immersion and rescue.

Once you have the package you don't want to let go. Sometimes people just want to breath and they try to use you as a platform so be prepared by being behind them.

Once you have two people on the end of a line in a rapid, things can get forceful quick so you have to anticipate and factor in your surroundings. Your head is the most important element in a rescue and teamwork is the fuel that fires up a quick rescue.

Off Water Skills are important to practice. This can take the river element out and let our trainees learn the details your systems work on the river when you need them.

Haul systems are a bit lengthy and confusing so it's best to practice them off the river. When things are really stuck this is a possibility, the Z drag. Knowing ropes, webbing, carabiners, pulleys and knots is really important for climbers and river guides.

Stabalization lines and tag lines add to the River Guide's tool box.

techniques are the quickest and sometimes most effective. Using a paddle can help stability and you can feel the bottom of the river with it. This helps tell you the depth.

If you have just plain manpower this is how you can use it to wade.

Sometimes it just doesn't work but you always have to have a plan B as a River Guide. Swift Water Rescue is a key component to becoming a river guide. We enjoy our work and it comes through in our performance. Our staff consists of some talented individuals and we want to keep it that way.