Life Flight crews train for high-risk rescues

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LITTLE DELL RESERVOIR -- Intermountain Life Flight crews are preparing for their busy season when the warm weather welcomes outdoor enthusiasts to explore Utah’s mountain ranges.

"This is our busy time of the year so we want to get out here and get this training done to be on top of our game," said Bill Butts, Director of Operations at Intermountain Life Flight.

Intermountain Life Flight has rescued nearly 200 people since it was launched in 2001.

Keeping their skills sharp requires a lot of practice.

“We perform anywhere from 10 to 20 hoist rescues a year and we like to be proficient. It`s a skill we don`t use often but it`s high risk and so we perform and practice three times a year,” said Judi Carpenter, Life Flight Nurse.

Judi Carpenter was part of the first hoist rescue for Intermountain Life Flight. Fourteen years later, she still feels compelled to help.

“It`s very rewarding -- it`s a privilege and very joyous to be able to help someone who is in dire straits,” she said.

Intermountain Life Flight is the first and only civilian air ambulance in the nation. They practice at least once a year because in a real situation time and efficiency is key to saving lives.