Lost and Found... the newsletter of Volume 13, Issue 7
10 July 2008

Editors: Tom Russo,Mike Dugger,Tom Rinck Cibola Search and Rescue
That Others May Live...
Back to Top
Top of the Hillby Adam Hernandez

General Info

Summer is here. Hot and unseasonally more humid than usual.  Well, at least that's the way it seems to me.  Please double check your pack and lighten it so that you may take a little more water.  But, as always remember to take everything you need. I  keep an extra bag in my Bronco with various other "stuff" I might need.  Insulating layers, rain gear, lighter jackets etc.  If you think you might need it, throw it in your vehicle and decide when you get to base camp.  Also, watch your food and water intake before you go. If your thirsty when you start hiking, it's to late.  Slow down and try to hydrate.

Last month we dropped an evaluation do to a mission.  We will shift all evaluations back a month.  We're going to have a combination, Search, Litter and Land Navigation in September.  If you can't make it, or still need just one or two the following months, Oct. Nov. and Dec will fill out the rest of the year.  That doesn't mean that you want to wait until the last minute or that you can't help out on the next Litter Eval. in July.

Please be patient with the Web Calender, Steve and I are working on scheduling the rest of the year.

Please notice that the July Litter Eval has been moved back one week.  I would like as many team members to attend the joint AMRC and Cibola training.  All High Angle work is usually handled by AMRC and any knowledge you can pick up can be helpful.  This training will cover low angle work.  We work along side many of these guys on everyday missions and this time you'll be able to ask any question you may have.  So please attend.

Also, I would like to see a few more people at the meetings.  I know this is summer, but try to make it to the meetings and meet some of the new people we have coming into the team.  I know for a fact that some of the older members would not recognize some of the new members.

I would also like to send my thanks to the members that said they we're interested in going to Wolf Creek to assist in the seach for the lost skiers.  As you have probably heard the bodies have been found and our services are not needed. My thoughts are with the families and I'm glad they finally have closure.

Back to Top
Boots and Blistersby Steven Buckley

Hello team.  Once more I need to apologize for being remiss on my duties as your Training Officer.  Once more I have to thank the officers and others for carrying my load.  I owe you an explanation of what I have been up to.  I have been deployed to Kwajalein atoll as part of a team launching several satellites and delivering a new launch capability for the country.  I knew this mission was coming and was reluctant to take on the duties as your Training Officer for that reason.  Other team members have stepped in and carried my load and I am grateful for that. Unfortunately, it is not quite over. I am headed back and will spend the last half of July and part of August in the Pacific.  I do not carry a personal computer to that location but will have a military laptop for mission use.  I can access my AOL account in a limited way at a facility called the Adult Recreation Center (...computers, pool tables, board games and the best collection of LPs I have seen in years...what else were you thinking!). 

Unfortunately, I spent lots of time at an outer island and could not access my AOL account from that location.  If you need to contact me or any reason, the officers have my military address and can forward mails to me.  I have very good access to my military account. 

Thanks again to all who are carrying my load while away. Keep on rescuing!

Back to Top
Pinching Penniesby Warren Wylupski

Update on Fuel Reimbursement

I recently received a very long and detailed voicemail message regarding the Fuel Reimbursement Requests that I have been submitting to the State, on behalf of CIBOLA.  In a nutshell - fuel receipts must match the reimbursement request.  We can no longer submit a receipt with an amount different than the amount being requested - this apparently has been the State's policy for a while.  If I receive paperwork that doesn't match, I will have to return it to you unprocessed. 

So ideally, fill up your tank while enroute to a mission, and then fill up again just prior to returning home - this amount should then be submitted for reimbursement.  I know this isn't always convenient, and I am sorry if this causes any headaches.  I'm just the messenger.

*As always, fuel reimbursement forms are available on the Members Only pages on the website.

Stay Safe!

Back to Top
Who's Who and Newby Mike Dugger
Please welcome Lonnie Allen to the team, and the ranks of prospective member.  Lonnie is on my branch of the phone tree, and has all his gear ready for responding to missions.  Please say hello and get to know our latest prospective member! Back to Top
Feature Articleby Mike Dugger

“So You Want to be a SAR Medic?” Part I

This article is the result of a struggle to understand how to best provide medical care to the subjects of our search and rescue missions.  I have had many queries on how to do this, from prospective members of our own team to members of other teams wanting to get started, so the interest seems broader than I thought.  Also, the requirements for maintaining medical certification have changed in the last couple of years, so this provides an opportunity to document the procedures as they currently stand.  At the outset, I wish to express most profound thanks to Susan Corban, a former member of Cibola SAR who did the initial ground work to dig up the requirements, get our procedures and documentation in place, and arrange training for our initial set of medical providers in 2000.  Like all journeys, this was a necessary, and huge, first step.

The “best provide” qualifier in the opening sentence above includes consideration of the requirements of New Mexico’s administrative infrastructure for Search and Rescue.  One might think that providing medical care just requires the necessary training and then a medical problem to treat.  As you will see, this is only the tip of the iceberg in this titanic tale. 

Still, it is well worth it.  Not only will medical training build your confidence in being able to take care of emergencies in SAR as well as recreational wilderness trips, it can be extremely rewarding to help someone who is hurting in addition to being lost. 

The formal system under which medical care is provided to subjects is an effort to make sure that injured people get the best care possible given the circumstances they are found in, that they get out of the wilderness considering not only the safety of the subject but of their rescuers, and with minimal risk of liability to the state.  It provides a system of training, continuing education, documentation and a common language that stops little problems before they become big problems, and eases the eventual transition to advanced care in a hospital setting if necessary.

The litigious society that we live in is a driver for all of the administrative requirements for treating subjects on search and rescue missions.  While the subject is the person we are looking for, they might no be the only one who needs medical care.  There are many more people involved in a SAR mission than the subject that might need medical help – you and your teammates! 

The official policy for rendering medical aid to the subject of a search and rescue mission, according to John Wheeler, Chief Council for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NM DPS), is that it be done according to the requirements of the New Mexico Department of Health, Emergency Medical Systems Bureau, or NM EMS for short.  This is the organization that licenses and certifies all personnel who practice at the level of First Responder (FR) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in the state.  NM EMS maintains the “scope of practice” for each level of medical provider working under EMS.  This document defines exactly what type of medical support can be provided, and what actions require medical direction, or which ones require that you be in a wilderness context.

For treating yourself, your family or your teammates during non-mission activities, you might not need any of this administrative formalism at all.  That is, provided that you trust your family or teammates not to sue you if you render medical assistance and something goes wrong.  You should definitely get some training, but might not need to register with EMS.  Once again, if you plan to treat a subject during a SAR mission there is no option – you must become registered with EMS.  The remainder of this article assumes that the medical provider intends to treat subjects during official search and rescue missions.  With that in mind, the basic steps are: 

1.  Get certified or licensed through NM EMS.

2.  Get a medical director for your service.

3.  Obtain recognized training for any additional skills or protocols you plan to use.

4.  Maintain your certification or licensure.

We will deal with each of these topics separately.

1.  Getting an EMS Medical Provider Card

The first step in becoming a SAR medic, assuming you have no previous medical training, is to take a class.  Careful, because NM EMS doesn’t recognize classes from just anywhere.  The class must be taken from an approved training institution.  There are now five approved EMS training centers:  the EMS Academy at the University of New Mexico, Dona Ana Branch Community College in Las Cruces, Eastern NM University in Portales, Central NM Community College in Albuquerque, and the Santa Fe Community College.  The courses vary in length and format.  The lowest level at which you can be certified by EMS is First Responder.  The initial class for FR is 72 hours, and may be offered daily for two straight weeks, daily on weekends, one day a week, etc. up to a regular full semester class that meets a couple of times per week for an hour.  Note that there are several wilderness medicine training organizations, such as the Wilderness Medical Associates and the Wilderness Medical Institute.  A course from one of these institutions is great training, and may overlap a lot with a recognized EMS course, but it won’t get you a card from EMS.  These other training organizations will come up again when we talk about wilderness protocols.

2.  Now You Need a Doctor Friend

Once you are recognized by NM EMS as a FR or EMT, you may provide medical care up to that which is defined in your scope of practice.  This is determined by the EMS Bureau, and can be found on their website at www.nmems.org.  The medical skills listed in the scope of practice are divided into two basic categories:  those that can be performed without medical direction, and those that require medical direction.  Strictly speaking, your team does not need a Medical Director (MD) in order for you to perform the skills for which medical direction is not required.  In practice, it is very easy during treatment of a patient to find that you need to use a procedure that you have been trained for, but that requires medical direction.  So, having a MD allows you to use the full gamut of skills listed under your scope of practice.

The MD must be a physician licensed in the state of New Mexico.  Given the type of injuries we see in SAR, someone with experience in emergency medicine is preferred.  Your MD approves all the medical protocols you plan to use, provided that they are in your scope of practice.  Special skills not listed in your scope of practice can also be approved by your MD, and will have to have some documentation of initial training and refresher for those skills so that you can prove that you have been properly trained to use them.  

In the next installment of this article we will discuss how to get training in those special protocols, and how to maintain your certification or licensure through renewals.  The take-home message from Part I of this article is, now say it with me, “To render aid to a subject on a search and rescue mission, one must be certified or licensed under NM EMS.”  That is unless you are already a doctor, in which case you can go back to sleep now.

Back to Top
Disclaimer and Copyright Noticethe 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.