What is a Cache?
A rescue team's headquarters is typically referred to as a "cache". Currently, the WMRT Cache is located in the basement of a residence hall on the Western State campus. Space is limited, and as of Spring 2011 the entrance has been shared with the campus thrift store, Free Cycle, in an area where some of the larger team equipment is stored throughout the year. Rescue vehicles, including trailers, trucks, snowmobiles, and ATV’s are stored outside unprotected from the elements.
What we are doing about this:
The current Cache is adequate for the most basic uses but a larger, more secure, and professional facility is needed. WMRT is seeking support for a new cache, which will enable the team to store all rescue vehicles, trailers, and equipment. It will serve as a classroom and office for the team, and support general mission operations including communications, search planning, and member preparation/recovery. Below are the reasons a new Cache has been identified as a necessity for WMRT:
- Weather: Since vehicles are currently stored outside they are subject to various weather extremes; specifically long lengths of time at below freezing temperatures. Being exposed to frequent weather changes has a significant impact on the lifetime of these vehicles, which are already used heavily throughout the year.
- Security: The recently shared entrance to the basement of Ute has increased the use of non team member access to that area. While the office/training and equipment area is secure, some of the seasonal equipment (quads, trailers, and snowmobiles) are stored in the shared entrance to Free Cycle. On several occasions the door to this area has been found unlocked and thousands of dollars worth of equipment unsecured.
- Space: The office/training area is a shared space. It is used to sort gear, which is often wet, or debrief up to 25 people (occasionally more) from the recent training or mission. Paperwork becomes damaged or displaced during these chaotic moments, and needs to be separated to prevent this from happening. With the current space, we are unable to separate these uses.
- Professionalism: On occasion, members of EMS, the Sherriff’s Department, and other SAR teams meet in our Cache to brief or plan for a mission. The current space is cluttered, and does not provide a good search planning or briefing area.
- Student Recruitment: A majority of our members are students or alumni of Western State. The college highlights WMRT in various advertisements for the school including perspective student pamphlets and on the website. A new facility would be a great item to emphasize on campus; a project that has been pursued largely by students and alumni of Western State, representing how future generations can become a part of a professional, passionate, group of individuals.
WMRT has developed plans for a Cache that will be approximately 3000 square feet and located north of Western State behind Campus Facilities buildings. The Cache will include three large garage bays for storage of the three rescue trucks, trailers, quads, and snowmobiles. Attached to the garage will be a classroom, office, and small kitchenette.
Donations are needed to fund this project. If you are interested in donating to support this project, please follow this link.