While walking his horse over an old dam, Gila County Sheriff's Posse member, Larry Woolsey, 77, lost his footing and fell approximately 20 feet. Read the article in the Payson Roundup.
Apple Valley Sheriff’s Posse is paving the way for San Bernardino County MSAR with several upcoming training events [Click this link for a flyer-Ed.] specifically designed to demonstrate and exploit the significant advantages of the horse. Following two months of heavy academics and bad weather, we initiated annual HARMS certifications for all members in March. Also, we kicked off our packing program with the certification and qualification of two pack teams and have more on the way.
On Saturday, March 6, all MRA-accredited rope rescue teams in California converged on the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine to demonstrate their rope rescue skills. The Cave Team and West Valley SAR participated in the event as part of their annual MRA recertification. Fully-accredited MRA teams must pass an annual recertification in one of the three disciplines: technical rope rescue, search and tracking, and winter/alpine rescue. This year's event was hosted by Ventura County SAR.
View CRMRA 2011 Recert in a larger map
Each team provides two evaluators and a victim, who are used in the evaluation of other teams. For example, one of our evaluators proctored the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit's test, while the other evaluated Sierra Madre SAR. After an hour-long evaluator training session, there was a short briefing, and the teams made their way to the testing locations.
The typical scenario involves a patient raise and lower with careful attention to the medical care provided. Due to the terrain in the region, it was necessary to perform a number of operations to move the victim to an appropriate location. The evaluators assess 6 areas: Leadership, Operational Plan, Communications, Safety, Medical, and Technical. Each of these areas are assigned a score of 1-3, and a minimum passing score is 12. At the conclusion of the scenario, the evaluators debrief the team, and provide the score. If a passing score is not received, then the team must re-test at a later date.
Ventura County SAR finished the day with a barbeque of tri tip and chicken, which tasted great after a day in the field. Organizing such an event is a lot of work, and they did a great job. I am continually amazed at the number of well-trained, dedicated, SAR resources that are available to the residents of California. It is truly a sight to behold.
Riverside County requested assistance with the search for a missing skier on Mt. San Jacinto on February 21. This call came right on the back of a call to the Baldy area for a missing hiker, and is the typical pattern whenever there is a signficant storm. A similar scenario occured early in January when there were back-to-back and simultaneous searches for a snowboarder on Baldy, hikers in Lake Elsinore, and a hiker on San Jacinto.
Members of SB Mountain SAR, the Cave Team, and Rim SAR responded and were assigned to search likely areas near the summit and Round Valley. The skier was eventually located in the Willow Creek drainage area by members of Sierra Madre SAR and the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group. A unique aspect of this search was the request for backcountry skiers. The conditions were optimized for significant "postholing", so travelling by skis was more efficient.
View Search for Backcountry Skier on Mt. San Jacinto in a larger map
The Black Diamond ATC, ATC-Guide, ATC-XP, and ATC-Sport, as well as the Petzl GriGri2 are the first devices to receive UIAA certification. Read the article on the UIAA's site for details.
Petzl has recently discovered counterfeit Chinese versions of a number of its products. Please read their statement regarding this discovery.
SB Mountain SAR is hosting a PVS class for 3 weeks in March, finishing with a test on March 27. TRBC is around the corner in April, so if you are looking to take TRBC, this is your opportunity to take care of the PVS requirement.
The PVS class runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning March 8th, from 1800-2200hrs. Read the flyer for details.
Contact John Metzger at his sbsar.org email address for more info.