Pat Dryer, a member of Juneau Mountain Rescue, has been presented with the inaugural Mel Nading Award for exemplary search and rescue practice.
The Mel Nading Foundation will present this annual award to an Alaskan search and rescue team or individual based on a number of criteria that, in part, includes participating in an especially challenging search and rescue mission while exhibiting innovation, leadership and promoting safety. Pilot Nading was the primary search and rescue pilot during his 13-year tenure with the Alaska State Troopers. Nading was killed on March 30, 2013, in the crash of the AST Helo-1, while returning from the rescue of a stranded snowmobiler near Talkeetna. Also lost in the crash were Trooper Tage Toll and snowmobiler Carl Ober.
Dryer was recommended for the award based on his actions during a June 2013 event near Petersburg when he led a technical team from JMR, along with an Alaskan State Trooper and a Federal Aviation Administration investigator, to the site of an aircraft crash. In an environment of limited resources, steep hazardous terrain, no communications and unstable wreckage, Dryer called upon his technical knowledge and leadership to complete the recovery of the subject while maintaining the safety of the team.
The award plaque, presented to Dryer, was accompanied by a $1,000 foundation grant that JMR will use for training or equipment purchases.
JMR is a volunteer, nonprofit, educational corporation dedicated to providing technical search and rescue, outdoor rescue and safety training for Southeast Alaska. They can be found on the web at http://juneaumountainrescue.org or on Facebook.