It has been busy since my last Directors Dialogue. We had the large countywide callout to Needles and mutual aid call outs to Mt. Whitney and San Diego County. The Annual Training Facility clean up was held, the first BSAR class from Heart Bar graduated and the Camp No Limits project in Big Bear (Chairman Dennis McWhinney of the Big Bear Posse) was conducted for our amputee kids. The AMET program is up and running thanks to Dr. Debbie Bervel and Marie Podboy and the new SAR Standards had their annual review by our SAR Standards Committee.
To top all of this off, we had the very long lasting search in 29 Palms that started in July. For days and weeks of braving the heat and flash floods our SAR folks searched for our missing subject. Finally after numerous callouts our subject was found. It was a huge success for the department and showed the dedication of our SAR Volunteers to complete the tasks put before them. The ICS Team was at its best considering some very difficult conditions and my hat goes off to those members of that team. I am still amazed by the teamwork and dedication of our SAR Volunteers when it comes to finding our lost subjects in San Bernardino County.
The Sheriff, John McMahon, to show his appreciation for all of your hard work with this callout has scheduled a SAR Appreciation Picnic that is to be held tomorrow… Sept 13th. You have been notified by your Unit Commanders and Coordinators and have received flyers from Volunteer Forces. We are now hoping for a tremendous turn out by our SAR members and their families. The Department, Volunteer Forces and the SAR Council Board of Directors are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at Covington Park in Morongo Valley.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all of our Unit Commanders for their quick responses to a number of events that we are having this month. Headcounts were imperative for the 29 Palms Debrief, the Sheriffs Picnic and for the upcoming SAR Council Meeting. Each Commander supplied that information in a very timely manner and it was deeply appreciated. Thank you!
UPCOMING EVENTS AND TRAININGS
SHERIFF’S SAR APPRECIATION PICNIC: As mentioned above, this event hosted by Sheriff McMahon, will be tomorrow. Activities will start at 10 a.m. and food and drinks will be provided to all who attend. Hope to see you all there.
SAR COUNCIL MEETING: The next meeting will be on September 17th at Headquarters. The meeting will be called to order at 7 p.m. Please plan on attending and sending at least two members from your unit…..if not more. Please attend. The Sheriff and the entire Executive Staff will be attending this meeting. Volunteer Forces, and the SAR Council would appreciate a good turnout by your SAR Members. Refreshments will be provided.
Beginning in 1982 members of San Bernardino County SAR began to offer Hug-A-Tree presentations to local scout and church organizations. From early 1992 to 2005 the team did approximately 100 presentations for over 90,000 kids. This was done by attending school programs at assemblies and local church and scout units. These programs involved hundreds of kids at each assembly with up to four assemblies in the day. This was not the best way to get the information across due to the large audiences. It was sort of like herding cats or chickens.
Sign in starts at 0800 and breakfast will be provided by Sheriff’s culinary. Classroom training will begin at 0900 covering SAR related topics. Lunch will be provided by Sheriff’s culinary at 1130. A mounted evidence search will follow lunch. This training should conclude by 1600. Four very nice prizes will be awarded to the participants who collect the most valuable evidence.
There will be a trail ride following the training. A fireside debriefing will follow the trail ride. Camping is available Friday through Sunday. The camp will have water, but please be prepared with water for your horses
This training is free for all certified Sheriff MSAR personnel. Please support this valuable training with your participation. Many hours of pre-planning have been spent to guarantee an educational and fun exercise. We need a head count ASAP so please send your participant roster to Hap Hatch.
Officials from FireWhat Inc. (www.firewhat.com) in Dunsmuir CA will be hosting the 6th annual Wildland Search and Rescue (WISAR) workshop June 19th – 22nd 2014. You are invited to come and join experienced SAR instructors and volunteers, GIS specialists, National Ski Patrol, USFS, and other NPS Rangers interested in learning the exciting possibilities surrounding the use of geospatial technology.
This 4 day workshop will focus primarily on GIS tools and strategies for use in the field, as well as case studies and presentations on pertinent geospatial technologies. Experts from both ESRI and FireWhat will be on hand and provide laptops and software for each of the sessions.
p>We had a great turn out at the last SAR Council Meeting in January. We would like to thank you for taking the time to attend. With this turn out, it was a perfect time to present our SAR Council’s SAR Member and SAR Commander of the Year Awards for 2013. Paul Butler, our Member of the Year, was recognized for his outstanding contributions and dedication for 2013. He was the unit commander of San G SAR, a member of the ICS Team, who responded to numerous callouts and is an instructor at the BSAR Academy. Paul is also a reserve deputy with the department and has been a member of the department and SAR for over 35 years.
Our SAR Commander of the Year was none other than Larry Ford of the Colorado River Station; more commonly known as Needles SAR, for his efforts in 2013. He had 100 percent attendance to all of the department functions during the year, never missed a SAR Council Meeting or any other event put on or hosted by the Council and Volunteer Forces. He headed up numerous callouts in his area and was responsible for the upgrading of his unit’s equipment and completion of their command post. We would all like to thank these two individuals for their time and outstanding efforts. Thank you and congratulations Paul and Larry!