|Top of the Hill||by Adam Hernandez|
I would like to thank all members who have made this year great. How great? Well, none of us got lost. None of us injured ourselves during missions. And we made an impact on other peoples lives. This, we do every year. You, do this every year.
I would like everyone to please make an effort to attend the meeting/party this Saturday. Hopefully, you're reading this early. Contact Mark Espelien or myself for directions.
Also, I would like everyone to check their gear and vehicles before going on missions. My Bronco just needed a brake master cylinder. My, it is amazing what the difference is. Since it was a secondary vehicle I didn't notice the gradual degrading of the brakes. Well, now they work much better.
Now let's complete a look at the end of my year. First, I wasn't able to take my Ham course. I did have good intentions and I did pick up the "Now Your Talking" book, but just never did get to finish it. I will do this next year. Promise. :0)
I did get to put in more time on the treadmill or bike. Next, year I plan on putting more time in. Instead of taking a little longer lunch, maybe I'll get up earlier. We'll see.
And of course, I was President for another year. I plan on making next year my last. I figure three strikes and I'm out. So, I invite any of you to think about making the position yours for 2010. It's a long way off, but you can never start campaigning too early. I hope I have not made any big mistakes and have helped the team a little.
All this very basic info was about me, in relation to the team. I hope you can look at yourself and ask yourself what you did, either for the team or for yourself. Sometimes we make adjustments in our life. We put in more work, or sometimes more play. We try to balance all our relationships with friends, co-workers and family. This will be all I ask from you, is that at the end of the year, can we look at ourselves and see forward movement. Pretty simple.
That Others May Live...
|Boots and Blisters||by Steven Buckley|
I have been thinking about the meaning of the word “team” lately. When I first joined the team about ten years ago, I was told by the membership officer that I needed to conform to the team. My response was that the team needed to conform to me, too. That is the nature of teams…they dynamically interact based on the individuals that comprise the team. Just take a look at the members of our team. We have all types on the team. There are the young and the old (read that “seasoned”), the experienced and the not so experienced, the white collar and blue collar workers, the mountaineers and the ground-pounders, the high school graduates and the PhDs. There is even a rocket scientist or three on the team (and we all know that SAR is not rocket science!)
With so much diversity, how do we work together so well? The answer is simple. The one thing that we all hold in common, the one thing that drives the team norms, is the commitment to working to help those in need in the wilderness. To a person, we have all volunteered to make ourselves available at all hours, night or day, at times risking our comfort and safety, to help someone we don’t know. This trait is rare. We train as a group to practice our skills and make mistakes where they do not impact a subject. We certify ourselves through evaluations to demonstrate our mastery of SAR skills to the community. We go the extra mile to serve as officers and on committees to help the team run.
I have been privileged to have worked with this team as long as I have. I have been proud of our team’s accomplishments and service to our community. When you see a mom hug a kid she thought she would never see again thanks to the team you have been a part of, you don’t have to ask why folks do SAR. I have enjoyed working with the other fine teams in the Albuquerque area and in other districts who also sacrifice comfort and sleep “so others may live.”
I urge you all to think about what it means to be part of Cibola. I urge you to work to make the team stronger in general and New Mexico SAR better as well. Unfortunately, I must move away from SAR over the next year due to pressing personal issues. I want to thank you for letting me play along and take part in saving lives. How many folks can say they have actually saved a life? Not many. For those of us in SAR, it is just part of the job. As you continue to serve our community, I hope you search safely and bring them home alive. So long.
|Who's Who and New||by Mike Dugger|
I have the pleasure of announcing a new full member of the team in my last article of the year. Don Codding has satisfied all the requirements of membership, and is now a full member. This actually occurred on Nov. 1, and should have been announced at the last meeting, but the fact that Don had finished his six-month probationary period skipped my notice. Congratulate Don when you see him. Welcome back, Don.
The membership statistics for the past two years indicate that a very small percentage of people who contact the team with an interest in joining actually finish the process. Since January 2007, I have made contact with 170 new people. This consists of telling them about our organization, sending them some information about us and the membership requirements, and encouraging them to come to a meeting. Out of these I gave 19 orientations, amounting to about 11% of the first contacts becoming prospective members. As of this writing, we have 3 new members that have stayed with the team, or about 1.8% of the first contacts. Although CSAR takes pride in getting new volunteers into the field quickly to get some on-the-job training, the process of becoming a full member takes some time and requires some effort. Some folks do not finish this process because they leave town before they can complete it, or they find that it takes more time than they thought. The minimum requirements to stay certified are 7 half-days a year, plus the one-time NM Field Cert. This doesn't sound like much, but it is more than some people have to give. Because the process takes some time, many of the people I have helped to get started will finish their membership process next year. If all 11 of the current prospetive members become full members, the percentage of first contacts becoming members would increase to 8%. That is my hope.
The end of the year brings thoughts of reflection. Reflecting on the past two years that I have served as your Membership Officer, I have really enjoyed it. The opportunity to meet the new people who choose to help others in the wilderness has been a great pleasure. I found that in usually being the first person to meet a prospective new member, I was able to remember all your names much better than when seeing this process from the outside! I have truly enjoyed helping new volunteers get started with our team, and I hope that all of you who are currently prospective members will complete your requirements and become full members. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and I look forward to working with everyone in the future.
|Feature Article||by Terry Hardin|
Now that winter is here, make sure that you check out your gear before you go out into the field. Make sure that your gear is up to par before you get out in the field and really need it.
It may have been a long time since you used your backpack stove, so now would be a good time to do maintenance on it and make sure that it works well. It would be good time to clean it. Check and lubricate the seals. Lubricate the pump (if it is a pump type). Check it for leaks. Make sure you have plenty of fuel with it and don’t forget the extra matches to light it.
Check out your winter bivy / tarps. Fix any holes, rips, and tears. If it is nylon, you may consider putting a second coating of water proofing spray on it. Good silicone waterproofing spray is readily available at the super discount stores. Make sure that you have all of your accessory ropes, stakes, bungee cords, etc. for setting up the bivy.
Check out your sleeping bag. Fix any holes, rips, and tears. You may consider putting a second coating of water proofing on it. Lubricate the zipper so that it works smoothly. Soft candle wax works well as a zipper lubricant and it does not attract dirt.
Check out your parka / coat and waterproof pants. Fix any holes, rips, and tears. If it is nylon, you may consider putting a second coating of water proofing spray on it. Lubricate the zippers so that they work smoothly.
Make sure that you are carrying extra layers of clothing so that you can keep yourself warm and still have a few extra pieces of clothing that you could lend to a cold fellow searcher or to a cold subject. You can pick up extra clothing cheaply at a thrift store.
Check out your waterproof hat. Fix any holes, rips, and tears. If it is nylon, you may consider putting a second coating of water proofing spray on it. If your hat is not insulated, consider adding a watch cap under it for warmth. Make sure that you carry something to cover your neck, the back of your head, and your ears just in case the weather gets extremely cold. Most of your heat loss is out of your head and the back of your neck.
Check out your boots. Check your shoestrings to make sure they are in good shape. You may consider putting a second coating of water proofing on them. Carry extra socks.
Don’t forget your gloves. Fix any holes, rips, and tears. Make sure that they are water proof and insulated.
Check out your snow shoes. Check the bindings. Check the material. Check the hardware to be sure that all of the nuts are tight.
Make sure that you are carrying plenty of food (for energy) and also water. Place your water deep in your pack, near your body so that it does not freeze. Sometimes you can melt snow in the field, but that takes a lot of fuel and a lot of time.
Now is also a good time to check the batteries in your lights, GPS, cell phone, etc. Make sure that the batteries and the spares are fresh so that you are not surprised in the field. The daylight is shorter, so you will be using your lights more. Don’t forget to have spare bulbs as well as spare batteries. Don’t forget that warm batteries put out more energy than cold batteries. Therefore, if your cell phone is having problems with the battery running out, put it inside your coat and warm it up.
When you are checking out your gear, remember that your comfort, your safety, and maybe even your life may depend on how well your gear works in extreme conditions. When you go out in the field always keep in mind that you may get stuck out in the field and have to survive for multiple days with just the gear on your back. You might even be stuck out in a blizzard. Therefore, make sure that you keep your gear in good shape so that your gear will take care of you in the field.
May you have a blessed Christmas this year. Take care and be safe.
|Disclaimer and Copyright Notice||the Editors|
The contents of this newsletter are copyright © 2008 by their respective authors or by Cibola Search and Rescue, Inc., and individual articles represent the opinions of the author. Cibola SAR makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of the information contained in these articles, and cannot accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may be made. Articles contained in this newsletter may be reproduced, with attribution given to Cibola SAR and the author, by any member of the Search and Rescue community for use in other team's publications.