Hanging Out in Helicopters and Climbing Up Lookout Towers

Madrona Elementary students and ICO leaders kicked-off the start of the 2019-2020 school year with a tour of the Snohomish County Search and Rescue hanger and a hike up to the Heybrook Lookout Tower.

Thanks to amazing volunteers and staff from the Helicopter Rescue Crew with Snohomish County Search and Rescue, Madrona students got to get up-close to the SnoHawk rescue helicopter, which was used to rescue an ICO leader in the backcountry on July 4, 2019.

Each student got a turn to sit inside the helicopter and a couple of students got to try on rescue devices that the Helicopter Rescue Team uses to winch people up to safety.

helicopter ride

Rescue teams use screamer suits for rapid extrication by hoist or short-haul and those being lifted get winched up in a seated position. However, when difficult terrain and dangerous circumstances require an even faster extrication, a rescue strop is used.

As interesting as the helicopter was, the group had a lookout tower to get to!  With hiking sticks in hand, the group made the 1.3-mile trek up to Heybrook Lookout Tower, gaining approximately 850 feet in elevation. But the climb wasn’t over yet! With one last burst of energy, the group made it up 89 steps to the top of the lookout tower. The views were excellent and so was the company.

And after all the exploring, there was still time to gather for one final group photo before heading back down the trail and back to Seattle.

ICO Volunteer at Madrona Elementary,

Ashley Allan

PS: If you're interested in becoming a volunteer with Seattle ICO check out out Volunteer Page for all the details.