As many enjoy lazy Sunday mornings, a spike in emergency rescue calls got some out of bed early.

Stowe Mountain Rescue hit the classroom and the trails to freshen its skill set after a busy week of avalanches and missing skiers.

“We’ve been busy,” Chief Doug Veliko said. “We try to make our trainings much like real calls so almost like pre-planning.”

Veliko’s team trains once a month. On Sunday, the team started with avalanche safety as there’s currently a high danger. This after a six soldiers were injured in an avalanche at Smuggler’s Notch last Wednesday.

The Rescue Team was then given a scenario: A husband dropped his wife off at the trail head. She was supposed to meet him at the Cottonbrook Road parking lot at 3:00 and it’s now 5 o’clock.

It was up to the team to take over Veliko’s job, which is coordinate the response and figure out coordinates– do the legwork before hitting the road.

Tom Rogers is one of about 20 team members.

“It was actually a great opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of our chief, Doug Veliko, and to learn the ins and outs of starting the process of doing a search and interviewing the subject… interviewing the person who might be looking for their loved one,” Rogers said. “It was a great opportunity for us to get that experience at all the different levels.”

Rogers said training without a time constraint allows the team to perform better when time is critical.

“There are different scenarios that we need to be prepared for and these trainings really give us an opportunity to practice all these situations when it’s not an emergency,” Rogers said.

Veliko said the exercise is very similar to a ski rescue they did about a week ago at Bolton Valley.

Although the team is prepared, Veliko said it’s just as important that you think ahead.

“You have to know where you’re going,” Veliko said. “You got to be traveling with companions. You have to leave an itinerary of where you’re going and when you’re going to get back.”

Stowe Mountain Rescue gets between 30 and 40 calls a year. The team is made up entirely of volunteers.