|Top of the Hill||by Adam Hernandez|
Last Month's article was on a few reasons as to why you would not want to go to a mission. This month is the opposite. We strive to help other outdoor people who are lost and/or injured. We keep our packs ready. Vehicles full of gas. Try to stay in shape. Get prior approval from work and family. We think about the possiblility of people injured on the mountains or lost in the woods, during the week, but mostly on the weekends. The thought of a mission is always somewhere at the back of our minds.
Then we get paged. Cibola is attempting to shorten our call-out time. We need the help of everyone on the team. If you can get on Notifyall, please do. If you need a pager, tell us. Notifyall has cut my branch call-outs in half. It also notifies you when the initial page gets placed to the team, from ARES. This first page on notifyall can be 10-30 minutes ahead of our call out page. You can be loaded and ready to go by the time the all out page is transmitted. We are trying to post mission numbers and location points as soon as we get them on the paging system. That way people can get on the road ASAP.
We also need to get as many members out on missions as possible. Right now we have more than 25 members. We should make every possible attempt to make as many missions as possible. Please take into account last months article about the many reasons you can't make it either. :o) Hopefully you are making more missions than not. Also, you only need to call into the hotline if you are going, or if you plan to attend at a later time. If you don't go, don't call in.
Also, Cibola is going to try to get as many team members medically certified as possible. We are in the planning stage of this, and will keep you posted. If you have any interest in medical training please get with Mike D.
Escape is this month, May 16-18, and if you have thought about going please do. ESCAPE offers many training possibilities. Medical, Communication, Map and Compass, K-9, Management, Ropes, Crime Scene, Tracking, and much more. Please visit www.nmesc.org for more info.
|Who's Who and New||by Mike Dugger|
There are three new faces on the team, based on orientations I have done in the past month. In chronological order, David Kinton became prospective right after our last meeting, on 10 April, and is on Tony's branch of the phone tree. Richard Hoyle became prospective on 20 April and is on my branch. Don Codding became prospective on 1 May, and is on Adam's branch. Please take the time to introduce yourself and get to know our most recent prospective members.
Also, please note that June 30 will be here before you know it. So what, you say? Well, this is the date by which all members must have completed two training events for the first six months of the year, to remain in good standing with the team. Please check your training records, as well as your certification records, and make sure you keep up with training and certification requirements. This will keep you ready and available to attend missions.
|Minilesson||by Terry Hardin|
Many times we run into problems on missions because of many different reasons.
Sometimes valuable information that is received by the dispatcher from the subject's phone conversation is not passed on to the search management team. For example, I was on one search down in the Manzano Mountains where we were searching for a lost family near Bosque Peak. We were searching the enormous East face going up to the ridge. The family had told the dispatcher that they were on the West face of the ridge. If we had received that information, then the West face would have been the priority and we would have found them much sooner.
Sometimes, the information is mistranslated when it is passed on or the individual did not know the correct name. Like in this litter evacuation last week, the Incident Commander (IC) was given the wrong trailhead name. He was told that it was the Embudo trailhead when it was actually the Embudito trailhead. They sound very similar, but they are miles apart.
Sometimes the call out communication (logistics) breaks down. On one search earlier this year, the IC paged logistics (ARES) to have them call out the teams and the logistics never returned the page. Thus, our team was not called at that time. Our team was finally called directly by someone at the Incident Base (IB). This caused a significant delay before we were able to get the IB. This is one reason that some ICs like to have the Logistics Section Chief on site at the Incident Base.
Sometimes there are communication problems caused by multiple issues. For example, on one rescue I was delayed (because I just got back to town) and I arrived a few hours later. I was told on the hot line that the Incident Base (IB) was setup at the Sandia Crest. When I arrived, they were not there. I searched for them in the parking lot and all the way up to the first group of towers. I tried to contact them on the radio, but received no response. They had moved the IB to just under the second group of radio towers ¼ mile North of the crest parking lot. The RF from the radio towers was saturating the inputs of their radios so that they could not hear me even though I was only a quarter mile away.
Another example of communication problems was where we had the base camp setup near the Rio Puerco West of Rio Rancho, just on the East side of the ridge. When our teams would drop down into the Rio Puerco, we would lose communications with them because the ridge was shadowing the signal so that we could not communicate. This problem can be easily solved by setting up a relay on the top of the ridge. Just a side note, if you lose communications when you are in the field, you should return to the IB.
Many times the search management team is given wrong information. For example, on one search we were looking for a girl that might have committed suicide. She had actually written a 7 page suicide note. The IC was told that she was wearing blue pants and a white shirt. When we eventually found her, she was wearing camouflage hunting clothing. That was not what we expected. Thank God that she had not gone through with it and was still alive and unharmed. She was just emotionally distressed over a relationship problem.
In another example, a County Sheriff said the he had seen the missing subject's vehicle in one area way to the North earlier that evening. Whoever the County Sheriff spotted ended up not being our subjects. This started us searching way North of where the subjects were actually located. This searching up North used up a lot of resources and greatly delayed us locating the subjects.
When we are in the field, we should always remember that the search management team may not have all of the appropriate information that they need and they may have a lot of misinformation. This may cause our teams to not be deployed as efficiently as we could be. Hind sight is always 20/20. We should always remember that the search management team is doing the best that they know how with the very limited amount of information that they have available to them. Keep up the good work and we will see you on the trail.
|Statewide SAR Notes||by Tony Gaier|
The next NMESC meeting is the annual business meeting at Glorieta, it will be Saturday morning (0800), May 17, 2008. Currently the Board is focusing on ESCAPE preparations.
ESCAPE will be held at the Glorieta Conference Center, May 16-18, 2008. You will find additional information on ESCAPE at the NMESC website. Early Registration ended on May 2, 2008, if you are planning to attend it is not too late to register. You can register for the event until the last day of ESCAPE. The registration fee went up to $70 on May 3, 2008, and will remain at that price until the last day of the event. I highly recommend this event for all new members of the team. It is a great opportunity to get some beginner level training (as well as advanced training) and your New Mexico Field Certification. If you are coming to ESCAPE to get your New Mexico Field Certification, it is recommended to complete your IS-100 examination prior to attending. See the NMESC website for additional information concerning the New Mexico Field Certification. If you plan to attend the Amateur Radio Technician classes at ESCAPE, it is recommended that you purchase or borrow the following book for the Amateur Radio Technician classes “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual”.
Please email or call me if you have any questions on ESCAPE or NMESC activities.
NMESC Training Chair
|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.