not every town, at least out here in the sticks can afford a 'rescue from hieghts' team. http://www.rescueresponse.com/html/training.html
so, many times there are select members throughout a rural area that collect it's worthy members to form an ad-hoc team.
it's an interesting nitch full of mountanering gear, kernmantle ropes, carabeaners, and many fancy knots.
much of it looks fairly wild, but there is a lot of redundant safety incorporated, as well as much training. the closest i got was to be the volly patient at a drill, and was 'rescued' via stokes basket. it was pretty cool, they did good, no cowboy stuff. some of the dudes into this can tie a bowline with one hand, the viens in thier forearms stick out like garden hoses if they even scratch their nose....