Volume 1, Issue 4
December 9, 1996
Editors: Mickey Jojola, Chuck and Mary Girven
"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill
Pinching Pennies
Public Relations
Bronze Boot Award
This Month's Feature
Boots and Blisters
Who's Who and New
On the Right Track
Web News
Just Another Mission
Business as Usual
Gearing Up
Member Spotlight
Special Notes
Top of the Hill by Mike Dugger
As the year draws to a close, we tend to look back on our lives and reflect on what we have accomplished in the past year. It is appropriate to do this as a team as well. Therefore, I'll take this opportunity to summarize what I feel are some of CSAR's noteworthy accomplishments for 1996.

The generous support of our team by the community through the United Way, the Combined Federal Campaign, and individual contributions have allowed us to begin outfitting our team with the communications, GPS, maps, new litter and technical gear needed to better perform our primary mission. I know I speak for each of our members when I offer my deepest gratitude to our supporters for their contributions. Let's not forget members and their spouses who also support the team. These folks give of their valuable time as well as their hard-earned dollars. Our Treasurer deserves our thanks for putting team finances in the best shape they have ever been in. Her system for tracking expenditures and income insures that we always have an accurate picture of our financial situation. Proper accounting practices are of critical importance to maintain accountability for appropriate use of donated funds. CSAR remains a recognized tax exempt non-profit organization, having successfully completed our five year evaluation period with the IRS.

Cibola Search and Rescue, Inc. became a non-profit corporation this year, which defines the organization as a legal entity and offers some protection against legal actions to individual members. We have updated our bylaws and drafted a new version of our operating procedures and policies, the CSAR Member Guide, which captures in writing exactly how we do business. The CSAR monthly newsletter "Lost...and Found" was introduced this year, and enables all members to stay informed of team events and issues, even if they are unable to attend every monthly meeting. This has also been a valuable tool to keep our supporters, other teams, and the state SAR resource officer informed of our activities to serve the community. Another valuable communication tool is the CSAR Home Page on the world wide web. The site is now accessible from a commercial server at http://www.abq.com/csar/, and provides up to date information on our mission performance, calendar of events, etc.

CSAR participated in an unprecedented number of non-mission community service activities this year, including assistance with the NMESC helicopter training, instructors at the ESCAPE, SAR education to scouts, the Gateway 66 celebration and East Mountain Rendezvous, to name a few. Our public relations person has started keeping a team yearbook, so we can look back at past missions, trainings, and media coverage. We also have two members on the NMESC board and a member serving as chairman of the state committee on SAR certification and typing, which will impact SAR teams throughout the state.

We have made enormous improvements to our activation procedures by adding pagers to the top of the phone tree, and a voice messaging hotline to notify members of mission details and the status of a mission as it evolves. This has resulted in more rapid deployment of our team, and the ability for members to find out at any time whether additional resources are needed for a mission. We have nine members trained as Incident Command System (ICS) Section Chiefs, and seven licensed amateur radio operators. Thanks to our training officer we had a well-rounded training calendar in 1996, and made use of time before meetings to learn about other teams and subjects like UTM map coordinates, litter packaging, and ICS. We have become much more proficient with the use of our new litter. CSAR lost two members to moves, and five who no longer had the time to participate. At last count, we gained sixteen new members in 1996, and we continue to see a steady influx of prospective members. Our roster presently includes 45 members, 12 of which are prospective.

Now for the real meat - our SAR mission performance. This is what CSAR is really about, after all. Without performing our primary mission as "ground-pounders" very well, our other accomplishments would be of little value. CSAR participated in 48 missions in 1996, as of this writing. This includes some that we will always remember, such as the search for little Danny in the Zuni mountains, and the evacuation of the three fallen climbers from the Sandias. More than twenty percent of these were for missions outside of state police district five - our "home turf." Calls for out of district missions reflects the fact that our reputation for rapid deployment of highly skilled searchers extends state-wide. It is sometimes difficult to speculate about what may have happened on a given mission, if this group of volunteers were not willing to go out in the middle of the night in lousy weather to help someone we've never met. Rest assured that our efforts saved several lives this year. Every person on this team has contributed to the current success of CSAR, and it continues to be a privilege to work with each of you.
Boots and Blisters by Larry Mervine
It was a thrill to be elected as vice-president and training officer for one of New Mexico's primo SAR teams. Then realizing the importance of the position, fear came over me. Can I instruct team members to become even better? I decided to use a methology of short lectures and then practice, practice and more practice. Last year we concentrated on four areas: litter packing & evacs, map & compass, helicopter, and two overnight bivies. We also trained with dogs, how to use 4x4s and GPS. And we cannot forget a fun rafting trip.

Assuming my re-election, the upcoming year will include many of last year's training topics. I do want to concentrate on three areas: 1) have training to insure that 90% of the active members are state certified in 1997; 2) have at least three trainings that will intergrate skills we have learned, including but not limited to map & compass, GPS, tracking, clue awareness and litter packing; 3) training will be more physically challenging, to increase our physical fitness. I also would like to see more members attending trainings. I am looking for an assistant. Anyone interested please contact Larry M. I am looking forward to another good year, finding lost persons and not carrying as many dead bodies.

Business as Usual by John Mindock

  1. One of the Secretary's duties is to get the mail from our PO Box (11756, ABQ 87192). I stop there 2 - 3 times per week (Juan Tabo near Indian School). All official team mail should be addressed to the team PO Box. One reason for this is to ensure that the person who inherits the task gets the continuing mail on that topic. Another is to present a professional image to our benefactors, particularly the United Way. We also do not want official team mail going to some person's home, because then the officers (and the team) may not know what business is being transpired. That doesn't mean the officers intercept and read mail destined for a particular person, but we DO need to know about the existence of any official correspondence and business. Finally, the use of the PO Box helps business get done in a timely manner. If I can't get to the box for an extended time, other officers will do so, and there will never be a time where mail lies 'dormant' for weeks. If you correspond with anyone on behalf of the team, and desire the mail to come to you via the PO Box, ask them to put 'Attention: your name' on it. I will get it to you in whatever way possible, as soon as possible, without opening it. If it comes without that phrase, I'll open it and then deliver it to the appropriate person. If there is a situation where you need the mail to go directly to your own address, please contact Mike or myself in advance.
  2. Just prior to the December meeting, we review mission attendance in the context of assigning the team radios, map kits, and GPS's (for the next six months). The rationale is that the equipment is likely to show up at a mission if assigned to a person who has a high record of attendance. In theory, the equipment could be passed to other individuals if the possessor cannot attend a particular mission, but that is usually not a practical tactic. We currently have two radios (Bob U. and Terry D.), two map kits (simile), and two GPS units (Paul and Mickey). The officers make the decision on the distribution of team equipment. The attendance records are kept by the Secretary.
  3. I carry the team's litter equipment and related gear in my truck. Certain other members of the team know the location of my hidden set of keys. If I'm at the mission, the equipment is also. Occasionally, when I'll be out of town, I hand it off to Mike or Mickey. It's important that the equipment be returned to the appropriate truck after missions, so please help keep an eye on it. If you take responsibility for any equipment on a mission, please be sure you keep track of it and that it gets returned to the appropriate truck. This may require a transfer of that responsibility if you need to pass the gear to someone else and leave the mission.
Pinching Pennies by Melissa Smith
Please get your gas vouchers in and have a great holiday!
Who's Who and New by Bruce Berry
Well another year is almost through and the membership of Cibola SAR is very strong, and lots of good people have joined the team. Unfortunately, there were a few good people that quit the team. I want to wish them well where ever they may be what ever they may be doing. I know that there will always be a welcome mat out from Cibola SAR should they wish to return. To the new members; welcome aboard. I hope that the fun, excitement, and ability to help your community is just what you expected when you joined the team, and that we, as a team, are meeting your goals.

We presently have thirteen prospective members. Bob Schwartz is due for active membership in December. Rosemarie Renn is due for active membership in January. Andrew Parker and Quentin Dirks are due for active membership in February. Tom Bretz and Mary Girven are due in March. Ella May Robinson Todd Hamill, Jay Ellington, Robert Marchbanks, and John Schroeder are due for active membership in April.

The new and improved Member Guide was passed out at the November meeting. If you did not get your copy, please contact Bruce Berry to receive one. An attempt will be made to mail copies to those that did not receive it at the meeting, but be pro-active and get your request in instead. If anyone has comments or input into the content or lack of content of the Member Guide let Bruce Berry know so that it can be incorporated into the next revision (planned for Summer '97). All comments are encouraged and none will be refused.

As membership officer, it has been a lot of fun and satisfaction to help so many people get started on such a great team. I only hope that the new incomming president of Cibola SAR will ask me to continue to be membership officer. A plea: If anyone out there would like to help me (should I get asked to be membership officer) with membership "things" please let me know. I am looking for an assistant. Also, if anyone has any suggestions or feedback along the lines of membership, I am always open to new ideas and wanting new and different suggestions. Just let me know and we can chat. I might even pick up the bill!

It has been a great year, let's keep up the good work. Mentors, work on your mentees. Call them up and say "Hey, what's happening?" Ask if you can help them with anything, give them a gear breakdown, go hike a trail with them, or just go tip a few cold ones. These are all things that keep us a team and makes life more enjoyable.

I hope all of you have a great and safe holiday. Hopefully, we won't get too many missions, but enough to keep us on our toes and keep us from eating too much. Enjoy!

Gearing Up by Melinda Ricker
There will be an Equipment meeting December 11th at 6 p.m. at Logicon on RDA. At the November Business Meeting, money was approved to order the litter equipment that was discussed earlier. The snowshoes some members ordered have come in. We've also received the topo maps of New Mexico. Everything else that was discussed has been ordered and is awaiting delivery.
Public Relations by Chuck Girven
I have been in contact with the local Hug A Tree group in Albuquerque. They would be willing to instruct a small group on the Hug A Tree program. It would be at no charge but at the end of the course we would have to purchase a slide program costing around $100. The team could purchase one package to be shared by the new instructors or we could each buy our own. If anybody is interested, we could arrange a class, possibly in February. They limit class size because each person must present the program correctly before they are certified. Please let me know if you are interested in taking this day-long class.

On another note about education and safety, I recently bought a book titled "Lost in th Woods" by Colleen Politano. It deals with children getting lost in the woods and what they should do. I think it is a very good book. I've been in contact with the publishing company and the team has been given permission to use parts of it when we give presentations about child safety to groups. If anybody would like to borrow the book, let me know. It only takes about 15 minutes to read but has several good ideas we could use.

On the Right Track by Mary Berry
The K-9 Unit continues to diligently work on developing evaluation standards for the team search dogs and their handlers. Mary B. has used the "Compendium of Search and Rescue Dog Training Standards and Evaluation", compiled by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), as the primary source of research. This compendium includes the standards used by 18 of the dog teams around the country, including CARDA and Dogs East, two well respected teams in the business. Also used was the "Standard Guide for Minimum Search Dog Performance", a document being developed by ASTM. Our final document should be finished by January 1, and will reflect the research put into the evaluation standards as it will have the same or similar requirements that other teams have.

November's K-9 team training went well at Chuck and Mary Girven's house. A simple and quick lifting harness was designed using 1 inch tubular webbing, and we used the Girven's rope swing on their big tree to test it out. We learned that a medium sized dog, such as "Jake" needs about 15 feet of webbing, and big guys like Bruce, oops I mean "J.C.", need almost 25 feet.

I'd like to take this opportunity to invite everyone who ever wondered how a dog thinks, to join us in January for our K-9 unit training/CTF. We plan to introduce the Training Game, a really interesting exercise demonstrating positive reinforcement training taught by Karen Pryor, author of "Don't Shoot the Dog!" The dogs will not actually be part of the training that day, ONLY WE WILL! It is a very eye-opening experience when you realize how those canine gears grind, and how important good timing is on the trainers part. Besides, it's hilarious. Stay tuned, we will be talking it up...
Member Spotlight: Melissa Smith
So you want the detail on my life, huh... well it all started a LONG time ago in a land far far away...

I am pretty much a California native, I was born there and other than about six years, I lived there until we moved to Albuquerque in the fall of 1994. I went to school in Santa Barbara and lived the good life, you know laying around on the beach by day, partying by night. But alas, all good things come to an end, I moved to L.A. after graduation and began my career as a good little accountant, eventually becoming a CPA and finally making tax manager at a Fortune 500 company that eventually lead me to temporarily living in Amsterdam, Holland.

So what has all this got to do with Search and Rescue? Well, not much really, except that all those long hours resulted in a need for an outlet, and hard core athletics became my outlet. I started with doing cycling centuries (100 miles) and moved on to biathlons, triathlons, marathons, and finally got hooked on hiking and rock climbing. I loved being outside (and still do) no matter what I was doing. I joined the Sierra Club, took their mountaineering course, and spent a lot of time in Joshua Tree and the Sierras and even dayhiked Mt. Whitney. I met my husband, Robert, while on a Sierra Club hike and took him on his first backpacking trip. We spent a couple of weeks backpacking in Alaska and eventually took a trip to Nepal and trekked into an area recently opened to Westerners. For part of our honeymoon we did the Milford Trek in New Zealand and visited Mt. Cook.

I have always felt very comfortable in the wilderness and I have done a lot of volunteer work since I was 13, so I thought I would combine the two. In the summer of 1994 I began the application process for Search and Rescue in L.A. which entailed an oral exam, a written exam, a physical exam, a psychological exam and a lie detector test before being able to be admitted to the Sheriff's academy, which after a 14 week program would leave you eligible to be picked up on the SAR team, space permitting. All volunteer. Fortunately, we ended up moving before I got too far into the process, (luckily I never took that psychological test!) and well, here I am. The six month probation period about killed me, I could not believe I still had to wait to join because there was no doubt in my mind about what I wanted to do. (My son was born nine months after I joined Cibola SAR, so I guess you could say I was very happy to join.)

I think we have a terrific group of people on our team as well as on the other teams in the area. I am always pleased and surprised at the people that come to the annual conference (ESCAPE) and I am very proud to be part of it. If you are a new member or considering joining Cibola SAR, I can only tell you that if your heart is in it, you have made a very good decision, one that will leave you with tall tales to tell, but also fond memories of your experiences and the people that shared them with you.
The Bronze Boot Award
The Bronze Boot Award is to show appreciation for exceptional work for a team member or members. It also would be applicable for people who make outstanding blunders or have incredible mishaps (all in good fun)!

Here Melissa Smith is accepting the Bronze Boot Award at the November business meeting (for doing a terrific job with communications).
If you would like to nominate someone for the Bronze Boot, please contact Chuck or Mary Girven, or Mickey Jojola. You can even nominate someone on the Members Only section of the web.
Web News by Mary Girven
Well, I've made some progress at setting up a development environment on my PC at home, but now the real work comes when I try to learn now to use it.

The members who have access to the Members Only area of the development site are: Bruce Berry, Mike Dugger, Chuck and Mary Girven, Mickey Jojola, Larry Mervine, John Mindock, Rosemarie Renn, Tom Russo, Melissa Smith, and Bob Ulibarri. If anyone else has Internet access, please let me know and I'll show you how to get in. With access to the Members Only section, you can submit articles to the newsletter, review the upcoming newsletter, and view and print reports, mission logs, and membership information.

Please let me know if you have any ideas for improving or adding to what we already have on the web (such as history of the team, photographs, graphics, animation, links to other SAR sites, etc.) or useful functionality (such as sorting the membership database in some other way). I'm always interested in your ideas. This is the team's web site and I'd like it to reflect all of us.

I think we've made a good start this year in expanding and streamlining CSAR communication, and I look forward to working with you in the coming year, both in the field and on the web.

NMESC Notes by John Mindock


This Month's Feature: Care of Special Fabrics by Chuck Girven
Being on a Search and Rescue team usually means being out in the worst type of weather. We depend on our gear to work the way it was designed. Our clothing is an essential part of our gear; therefore, it must keep us warm, be able to breathe, and wick moisture away from our bodies. To keep the system working, it is essential that we maintain the fabric properly, from our packs to the shoes on our feet. With the help of Donna Thatcher at REI, and the folks at Gore-Tex, Lowe Alpine Systems, Nikwax, and Sierra Designs, we'll try to answer some of your questions on taking care of those special fabrics that make up our clothing and outerwear.

First, I'd like to discuss the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) feature of most outerwear. Being water repellent is not the same as waterproof. Your garments could start to leak over time and hard use. DWR is like the wax on your car: when it's new, the water beads right up, but it wears off over time. The same is true for your water repellent clothes. The DWR plays an important role in the comfort and breathabilty of outerwear by minimizing heat loss and reducing the chance of condensation forming within the garment. The repellent outer surface provides an extra air layer for thermal insulation, but most importantly, it prevents the formation of a continuous layer of moisture on the surface of the garment. When water no longer beads, the exterior fabric becomes saturated and cools rapidly due to evaporation and conduction. Condensation can occur in any garment, resulting in rapid heat loss and discomfort.

There are a couple of ways to restore water repellency. A spray such as Techtron, Scotch Guard for Outdoor Fabric, or TX Direct by Nikwax will all work but will not last long. Don't use a silicone-based repellent as this can cause the fabric to attract odors and stains. If you choose a spray, it is recommended to start with a clean and dry garment. Spray the exterior and line dry, then spray a second coat and hang to dry. The very best way to rejuvenate the DWR is with a wash-in type treatment. Nikwax along with some other manufacturers make products that coat every fiber and will heal micro-cracks with a durable, breathable polymer that repels water. To clean GoreTex or other water repellent outer garments, use a powered non-detergent laundry soap. The reason for using powdered soap is that liquid soap has emulsifiers to help fabric absorb water. This can also leave a residue that can plug the breathable micropores. Detergent soaps have a strong cleaning agent that can actually strip away the DWR on the garment.

If you have a stain, make a paste with some of the soap and work it into the spot. Or try spray on Shout or Spray-n-Wash. The garment must first be laundered to remove dirt and other things that reduce the effectiveness of the water repellent treatment, and then heat from the dryer must be used to get the remaining DWR which is carried in a gel to melt and cover the fabric's fibers evenly once again. Be careful of metal snaps that can absorb heat quickly and might melt the garment where they come into contact.

Dawn dish soap works well for removing dirt and oil from Poly Pro underwear because it was formulated to remove oil from plastic kitchen utensils, and Poly Pro is a plastic by-product. Use powdered soap on Polar Fleece. To wash several pieces together, try a product made by Nikwax called Tech Wash, a gentle non-detergent soap made for water repellent fabrics. It usually doubles the life of your DWR treatment. Nikwax's Polarproof adds a DWR coating to fleece, wool, and synthetic insulated garments and sleeping bags. This will make the items dry faster and have improved insulating ability.

For down garments or sleeping bags, machine wash in cold water with powdered soap and tumble dry in a cool dryer. You might want to stop the dryer a few times and break up any clumps that form from the down sticking together.

Hand wash wool garments in cold water with a mild soap and dry flat. If you have a tent that needs to be cleaned, use cold water and a sponge. If soap is needed, use a mild soap like Ivory Flakes, Woolite, Sport Wash, etc. Do not soak it in soapy water, as this may cause de-lamination. Rinse thoroughly and hang dry, preferably not in the sun. To handle mildew or strong odors, wash in a mixture of a half cup of Lysol and one gallon of water, then rinse thoroughly.

I hope this helps to answer your questions on the care of special fabrics. Always read the care instructions on the gear you purchase and follow what the manufacturer says to do. If you don't know to care for a specific fabric, call the manufacturer. They are usually more than happy to help you out.
Just Another Mission by Chuck Girven

T'was the night before Christmas when all through the city
Not a SAR member was stirring, they weren't very busy.

The gear was all hung by the door with great care
In hopes that there'd be a mission we'd share.

The team members were settled all snug in their beds
While visions of past missions played back in their heads.

Then all of a sudden the phone rang with a clatter.
Pager one responded to find out what was the matter.

Calling the voicemail to give us the news,
The phone tree was alerted without a moment to lose.

A jolly old man named Chris was long overdue.
His small friends were worried and hadn't a clue.

Out sledding he was dressed all in red,
At least that's what all the reports said.

The teams came from all around, through the snow and the rain.
For this is the reason so hard we train.

ICS was there first and basecamp was formed,
With the SAR teams on their heels right before the big storm.

Briefed and sent out with all our gear we did go.
The searching was tough because of deep snow.

Tracks were found and followed to where they led,
When Team Two reported, "We found his sled!"

We searched through the night combing the wood,
Blowing whistles and shouting as loud as we could.

All of a sudden we saw a sack on the ground,
Full of all sorts of toys that were spilled all around.

And there he was, that man in red,
Gathering the presents from where they had spread.

When Chris was checked out at basecamp they said,
"All is well," so he left and mounted his sled.

In a hurry he was but all heard him say,
"I'll always remember you on this holiday!"

The jolly man was gone, things back to normal, it seems.
Just another mission for Search and Rescue Teams.

Special Notes
Special thanks goes out to Roger Bedell of Silvan Ascent Software in Santa Fe for giving us a great deal on topo maps of the entire state of New Mexico on CD. -- submitted by Mike Dugger

Special thanks to Dillon Henderson at the Atlas Snowshoe Company for helping our team get outfitted with snowshoes. -- submitted by Mike Dugger
This information was gathered from many sources and presents facts as we believe them to be true. This is not meant to be an official document, but a means to disseminate team information.