My name is Shane Nelson; I am a professional firefighter with the Boise Fire Department. I have been a member of Boise Fire’s Technical Rescue team for over ten years.

Even though Boise Fire is the biggest department in the state of Idaho, the training budget for our specialty teams, like Tech Rescue, have been shrinking. Our training budget is less than 70% of what it once was. During my tenure on the team, we have been unable to send a single person to a high angle rope rescue class outside of our department.

High angle rope rescue is a passion of mine. I am quite often hanging from a rope on my leisure time away from work. I enjoy being above the ground and relish the visual and problem-solving aspects of intricate rope systems. Whether its summer rock climbing, winter ice climbing, or spring mountaineering, I love learning and using ropes and rope systems.

Four years ago I began instructing rope rescue. I started out teaching single day rope classes to our Boise Fire tech team. Since then, I have progressed to teaching 60-hour technician-level rope courses to Boise Fire personnel as well as to members of the National Guard.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of instruction has been limited to the information I was taught by other Boise Fire instructors. The department doesn’t have the money to send me or anyone else to an outside course that would facilitate learning new rope techniques, concepts, and information. I needed an opportunity to grow my knowledge and to improve the quality of instruction that I could provide within my community.

The Idaho Urban Search and Rescue Foundation was instrumental in helping me fund a trip to Joshua Tree California, where I took part in an 8-day Rope Specialist course. The foundation paid for all of my travel expenses there and back.

The gracious donation from the Idaho Urban Search and Rescue Foundation coupled with a scholarship I received from Peak Rescue and shift coverage provided by the Boise Fire Department provided nearly full coverage of accrued trip costs.

The Peaks Rescue Specialist course was excellent; I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it and would recommend the course to others. The individuals providing the course must have noticed my passion for ropes and eagerness to learn as they have asked me to return to Joshua Tree next year to help instruct!

I am excited to take what I have learned from Peak Rescue and educate other individuals that have a passion for ropes.

Again, thank you, Urban Search and Rescue Foundation.

Shane Nelson