|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Pinching Pennies|
|Who's Who and New||Feature Article||Disclaimer/Copyright|
| Recent Missions
|| Callout Information
|Top of the Hill||by Tony Gaier , President|
There is a land navigation evaluation planned for this month, November 19th. If you plan to attend this evaluation please leave a voice message on the hotline by Friday the 18th. The last scheduled evaluation for the year will be a litter handling evaluation on December 17th.
Just a reminder, this years Christmas party/December business meeting will be on December 10th, starting at 6:30pm. Adam has kindly volunteered to host the party at his home, so please thank him the next time you see him.
The November business meeting is the last opportunity to nominate individuals for officer positions and the new David Dixon Memorial Award. Please attend the meeting or mail your nominations early so that they will be received at our P.O. Box prior to the meeting on November 10th.
Fall is definitely here now and temperatures are getting a lot cooler in the mountains. Now is the time to start winterizing your pack and equipment. Think about changing out the lighter underwear with a heavier weight pair. Dust off the snowshoes and check their hardware (check for broken buckles and dry rotted straps, etc.). Think about throwing a sleeping bag or cooking stove in the pack.
|Boots and Blisters||by Mike Dugger, Training Officer|
November's scheduled training will be SAR Fundamentals on Saturday, November 12 at the North end of the Piedra Lisa trail. We will review the field components of litter handling, search techniques and land navigation. The training begins at 9:00 AM and members are expected to participate in the entire event. There is a lot of information presented in a short time here, but we have finished up before 2:00 PM when conducting this training in the past, and will probably finish earlier. Directions to the trailhead can be found in the event calendar.
There is also an orienteering event organized by New Mexico Orienteers on Saturday, November 12 starting at 10 am or 12 noon, depending on what you want to do. Information can be found at http://www.nmorienteers.org/20051112pre.html, and participants must register by the 9th in order to attend. I will give credit for this event if at least three CSAR members attend, although it conflicts with our SAR Fundamentals training. I considered rescheduling to allow members to attend both, but the only definite response I got was from a member who could only attend SAR Fundamentals on the 12th.
In December we will also have two training events. On Saturday, December 3 at 18:30, Tony Gaier will lead a night land navigation training at the Balsam Glade picnic area. For those who were not around the last time Tony put on this training, it is a great one. Next we will be training with our technical gear on Sunday December 11, the morning after our Holiday Potluck. Location is TBD. I hope to solicit some help from one of the technical teams in the area and do a low angle training in which we use as much of our technical gear as possible. Many of our newer members have not seen all of our gear, and this will present another opportunity to practice with the new litter tie-in system that Mark Espelien has purchased for us.
|Pinching Pennies||by Mark Espelien, Treasurer|
Since it is November, it is time to start thinking about the budget for 2006. If you have any new initiatives you would like to see funded, or have ideas for new equipment, please contact me.
|Who's Who and New||by Bob Baker, Membership Officer|
I'd also like welcome Mike Krawtschenko and Warren Wylupski as new prospective members. See you on the trails!
|SAR Responder Safety and Downed Aircraft Hazards||by Bob Baker|
Other hazards are not as obvious; for example, the presence of explosives. When people hear of explosives, most folks think of bullets and bombs. The explosives I'm talking about are those high pressure items which may have become weakened in the post-crash fire. Rescuers need to avoid tires, landing gear struts that appear to be intact and pressurized bottles (oxygen and/or fire extinguishant) etc. Each of these items are pressurized in their day to day use and function. In the post crash environment however, they could become weakened by fire or by minor cracks that have diminished the load carrying capacity of the material. Each of these items are waiting for the careless individual to kick or step on them. Once that happens, all the built-up pressure will be looking to escape the pressure vessel--BOOM! Now there's another subject or two who need attention. Be especially careful around pressurized objects.
Other less obvious hazards are scattered around the crash site that you should know about. The first is the presence of aircraft fuel and hydraulic fluid. This usually soaks into the ground but can become an irritant once it gets onto your clothes, on your hands, and on your equipment. Aside from flammability concerns, there are also toxicity issues. Be aware of where you are and try to avoid contact with puddles of fluid and contaminated soil if at all possible. Another concern for such a scene of destruction is the presence of bloodborne pathogens. These are the viruses and bacteria transported by blood. These microscopic hazards can transmit diseases from the dead and injured to the rescuer through contact and open wounds (another reason to avoid getting cut on the remains of the fuselage). For this reason, you'll often see professional crash investigators wearing "bunny suits."
Another hazard to be aware of in our environment is wildlife. If the wreck is a few days old when you find it, be careful! It is not uncommon for wildlife (read predators/ carnivores) to be in the vicinity of the crash site. Usually though, when we arrive en force the animals depart the area.
Lastly and certainly not least, is one of the most insidious of the hazards associated with crash sites. That hazard is the psychological toll an aircraft crash has on the first responders. Rarely do we encounter such horrific scenes of destruction. Aside from the severe trauma of the crash survivor's wounds there is the presence of those who did not survive. It is especially difficult when children are involved. For most people, this hazard is the hardest to deal with. For this reason, we (NMSP DPS), have trained CISM (Critical Stress Incident Management) councilors to help first responders cope with the stresses encountered.
Aircraft crash sites are scenes of great destruction that are fraught with hazards for rescuers and survivors alike. When you first arrive, assess the situation. Look for the obvious hazards: fire, pressurized components, and broken metal. As you look for survivors, wear your protective equipment. Use gloves to move the metal and step carefully. Be aware of the presence of fluids: fuel, hydraulic fluid, and blood. Once time the time comes to evacuate the injured, watch out for debris kicked up by helicopter rotor wash.
Be aware, be safe, and come back intact.
|Disclaimer and Copyright notice||the Editors|