Committee rewriting Vt search and rescue policies - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Committee rewriting Vt search and rescue policies

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Vermont rescue crews were called in to help find four hikers in three separate incidents Tuesday. These rescues come as a committee is beginning to rewrite the state's search and rescue policies.

A temporary bill passed earlier this year requires search and rescue crews like fire, fish and game and state police to coordinate a response as soon as a call comes in.

The new protocol was born in the wake of the death of Levi Duclos, 19. He died of hypothermia on a trial in Ripton in January. Though state police responded to a call from Duclos' mother the night he didn't come home from his hike, it wasn't until the next morning that until a coordinated search was initiated, and by then it was too late.

"We wouldn't go in if it wasn't a safe situation. We wouldn't go in overnight. We'd check the perimeter, we'd keep troopers out on the road in case anyone came on out or if we heard anyone yelling for help. Now that hasn't changed for us, but the fire department, they're going to have a response also and if they feel it's appropriate to put their fire service members into the woods or wherever it might be, that's their option to do so," Vt. State Police Lt. Chuck Cacciatore.

The temporary protocol will stay in place until the committee can research and write a permanent search and rescue plan.

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Multiple incidents of lost hikers

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