Rescue training and practice has always been a primary consideration within
the Coldwater Cave Project. Periodic rescue workshops and instructions in patient
packaging and hauling and evacuation from the shaft entrance keeps project personnel prepared for any
potential rescue situations. Doug Schmuecker, an Iowa firefighter who is experienced in all aspects of
cave, vertical, and confined-space rescue, oversees the rescue logistics and preparedness of the project.
The Coldwater Cave Project has had an exemplary safety record
during the 28 years of work in the cave and surrounding area. This can be attributed to the experience
level of the project cavers, mentoring of new cavers within the project, and very careful risk analysis
when it comes to exploration. A survey-as-you-go exploration ethic allows for more thoughtful
observation of one's surroundings, allowing potential hazards to be identified that might be missed
by cavers interested only in how far they might travel in the course of a trip.