Volume 2, Issue 2
February 13, 1997
and Mickey Jojola
"That Others May Live..."
This really is an exciting time to be a member of Cibola SAR! We have started working towards our 1997 goals as discussed during the last couple of months. I encourage you to stay informed of upcoming events by listening to our voice mailbox a couple of times per week. Let me take this opportunity to provide a brief description of some of the things going on:
|Top of the Hill
||by Mike Dugger
The scope and depth of the activities reflected above demonstrate the dedication and hard work of many members, and the fact that we all enjoy working together. We rely on the continued interest and involvement of our members for this organization to continue to grow. I welcome each of you to find an issue you are passionate about, either an existing one or a brand new idea, and get involved!
- The state's basic certification of SAR volunteers is rolling right along. Many evaluation sessions are already scheduled throughout the state, in which some of our members will be participating as evaluators. The most convenient sessions for our members to become certified will be in April and July. Our training officer has scheduled training activities at 6:30 pm prior to each business meeting between now and April, as well as our usual one weekend per month, to address topics on the certification exams. Members who attend these training sessions should have no trouble passing the certification exams.
- Based on a phenomenal show of interest from members, we have put together a series of study and review sessions to help people pass the licensing exam to become a Technician Class amateur radio operator. The license is good for ten years, and you will not need to test again (unless you want more frequency privileges) as long as you renew your license before the ten year expiration date. The sessions will consist of a review of technical material, review of the question set for the exam, and a practice test. A total of seven sessions are currently planned, for about two hours each week on a weekday evening. Even if you have no plans to buy a ham radio for a while, this is a great opportunity to learn together with your teammates in a relaxed, fun environment. Then when you are ready for a radio, you can legally operate on amateur radio frequencies! We have seen increasing requests for this type of communication skill over the last couple of years.
- Our new low angle technical gear has arrived, and the equipment committee has logged all our gear and established maintenance schedules. We are also exploring locations for a permanent gear cache in the east mountain area. Once we have completed preparations for the certification exams, we will begin to train with this equipment.
- A SAR education program is being developed to inform the community about our team, and to educate children on how to enjoy the outdoors safely. The concept here is to have presentations ready for use at schools, scout meetings, public events, etc. The first presentation, introducing SAR in New Mexico, is nearly complete. The next will focus on teaching kids how to hike safely, and what to do if they become lost.
We had eleven members attend the snowshoe training on January 11, 1997.
The plan was to take a compass bearing and follow that bearing for 20
minutes and then add 90 degrees. After three turns this should eventually return us to our vehicles.
We packed our gear and started off. The day was warm, the skies were blue, but
the snow was only 8-10 inches in depth. One member actually walked the hike
without snowshoes. We were enjoying the snowhike when a member complainted
about a stomach ache. We assessed the situation. One member with a radio
started back to the vehicles with the sick member. The rest continued on. Two
compass turns later the skies became a dark gray and moving in our
direction, so we started our return leg back to the vehicles. We then
contacted the two members that should have returned by now. The transmission
that came over the radio informed us that our member's condition had gotten
worse and they needed help, so we rushed over the team member, now "the subject."
The subject was then lead back to the vehicles. It turned out to
be a case of food posioning. We never know when a teammate will have a
problem, so always watch out for each other on missions and trainings.
|Boots and Blisters
||by Larry Mervine
|Feb. 13||Thu||6:30 pm||Gear & Clothing|
|Feb. 14||Fri||4:00 pm||Winter Survival||Bruce B.|
|Feb. 15||Sat||7:00 am - 5:00 pm||Mt. Taylor|| |
|Mar. 13||Thu||6:30 pm||Safety||John M.|
|Mar. 16||Sun||1:00 - 4:00 pm||Practice Search|
|Apr. 10||Thu||6:30 pm||UTM|
Map & Compass
|Apr. 12||Sat||9:00 am - 1:00 pm||Certification Review||Loc. TBA|
|Apr. 19||Sat||??||First chance to take|
Follow Trail #462 (Chamisoso Road) about 15 minutes. @50 yards past the sign
'Street Closed 1000 Ft', it goes up the hill to your right. UTM 375.0, 3880.8.
Follow this for about an hour until you see the sign for Trail #13 (Cedro Ridge
Tr.). This area is known locally as the 'four corners' (see Cedro Trails map).
UTM 378.0, 3881.3.
Take Trail #13 'south'. There are a number of confusing cross-trails near this
junction - to stay on #13, stick to the 'middle' trail. Don't go downhill - it
should always seem that you are on (or heading to) the 'crown' of the ridge.
In about 1/4 mile, you should come to a rock-strewn uphill stretch. The bikers
call this area the '5 hills of death', and you'll comprehend their naming
convention if you're on the proper trail.
After about 30 minutes puffing up Trail #13, there will be a triangular
junction with a sign (on your left) for trails 13 and 252C (Meadow-Ridge Tr.).
UTM 377.8, 3879.9.
Go left on 252C for 15 minutes, where you'll see the sign for Trail #12 (Meadow
Tr.). UTM 378.7, 3879.1.
Go left ('north') on Trail #12 for about 30 minutes until you reach a 'Y' where
one branch goes left up the hill. This is beyond the windmill, and there is a
signpost with no decals at that junction. UTM 378.3, 3881.2.
Go up the hill, ignoring the sign pointing to Trail #13, and in a few minutes
you reach the familiar junction of #462 and #13. Then return to the parking
area on #462.
At various places along the route there are side trails. These all head off to
meet other trails in the Cedro Peak maze. You may want to explore a few
sidepaths on subsequent trips. It's a great area to create loop hikes that last
3 to 4 hours.
I find it a nice place to hike after work when I don't want to battle elevation
Note how far back a rescue vehicle could get.
|Hike of the Month||Chamiso, Cedro Ridge, Meadow Ridge, Meadow Trails||0900, February 22-23, 1997|
|Trailhead:||Chamisoso Road, South14, 1.2 Miles South of Old 66, 'East' side|
|R.T. Distance: @8 miles||Elevation Min/Max: 6500/7400|
|Hiking Time @3.5 hours||Hazards: Speeding mountain bikers, mud|
|Topos: Cedro Peak Trails Map, Sedillo Topo, Tijeras Topo|
|Business as Usual
||by John Mindock
- While Bob adjusts to his Membership Officer role, I'll continue to
keep track of Name/Address/Phone information and attendance.
- I've created two new categories of 'Mission Attendance' this year.
One is for those who do official ICS tasks (e.g., FC or Section
Chief), and the other is for those who handle the phones. Previously I
had just lumped all attendance together, and there was a judgement
call on the 'phone' category. This will give us the ability to better
quantify the actual field response to a mission, plus will keep
records of everyone who does phones and ICS. Also, a person could get
multiple credits if they do the phones, perform ICS tasks, and hit the
field (on a long mission like the one in the Zunis).
- I don't feel that reading the entire minutes of the previous
meeting is a valid use of time in our business meetings. The minutes
are available on the www, and I'll also mail them to anyone who so
requests. If anyone thinks it is a worthwhile use of business meeting
time to read them in their entirety (instead of the highlights, as I
now do), please contact any officer so we can formulate the issue for
the team to decide. I estimate it would usually take about 10 minutes
to read them. If you don't have access to the www, and want a copy
mailed to you, please contact me. If you have any other suggestions or
comments on this issue, contact any officer.
I've encountered some consistent problems on the gas vouchers; these need to be addressed to speed up processing.
||by Melissa Smith
These instructions and more are on the back of our current gas vouchers.
Ask me for a copy if you need one.
- Always remember to write down the mission numbers
- Remember to write down the mission date
- In the section for fuel used, fill in the gallons of fuel used
- In the cost section, put the price per gallon
- Fill in the total amount due
- Sign your name and check the reimburse or donate section
- Another common problem is not turning the vouchers in on time
Also, whistles and Sandia maps are available for purchase. Let me know if you want any.
Things in the membership arena are moving right along. The new member
orientation package will be complete this month with perspective members
being given this package at the meeting and the actual orientation taking
place (hopefully) the following week. Also, in discussions with the other
officers, it was felt that we needed to come up with a consistent start
date for all new members. So, with that stated, the six month evaluation
period will now start at orientation. This way our record keeping will be
easier and all new members will know exactly when their six month time
frame begins. I am also completing a "welcome" letter for people who
come to our meeting for the first time. It will basically give them a brief
outline of what will go on before they are ready for an orientation.
I will have some at the February meeting if anyone would like to see it.
And as always if you have any questions on anything that is going on with
membership, please give me a call (at home) 286-1002. I would like to remind
you that the following people are now active members of Cibola SAR: Andrew
Parker, and Mary Girven. Let me be the first to congratulate them. Lastly,
please remember that the following people are up for active membership in
March: Tom Russo, Ella May Robinson and John Schroeder.
|Who's Who and New
||by Bob Ulibarri
At the last Equipment Committee meeting on January 18th we marked and tagged all our team gear, and work is in progress on maintenance and usage logs. If you have questions or are interested in attending the next Equipment Committee meeting, contact me for time and location.
||by Melinda Ricker
||by Chuck Girven
On February 2nd we had our second meeting of the Preventative SAR committee.
We finalized our first presentation titled "What is SAR?" which will be
available for presentations by team members shortly. If you are interested
in giving a presentation or participating, contact Marnie Boren or Chuck
Girven. Our next meeting will be on February 24th at 6:30 pm at the IHOP on
Central just west of Tramway. The next presentation we will be working on
will be Children's SAR.
Dogs have been used to search for people for hundreds of years.
First used in Europe, they were used in wilderness settings
(mostly Avalanche work) and to track down escaped prisoners.
Later, in America, dogs were mostly used to hunt down prisoners and
The use of dogs evolved into search and rescue work more recently,
utilizing both dogs that are trained similar to the avalanche method
(airscent) and dogs that mainly follow track
(tracking/trailing). Cibola SAR has both types of search dogs.
|On the Right Track: Dogs in Search and Rescue
||by Mary Berry
Airscent dogs predominantly work by constantly checking the wind for
any hint of any human scent. They are usually worked off lead, and
are sent away from the dog handler to "go out and check the wind."
This results in a dog that is casting about in front of the handler
to cover the assigned territory, working from left to right of the
handler, according to the handler's search plan and wind direction.
The dog returns to the handler periodically to "check in". It is the
handler's responsibility to make sure the dog casts about enough to
satisfactorily cover the area. When the dog catches the scent of the
person, he follows it. When he finds the person, he typically
returns to the handler giving a trained "find alert" the handler
recognizes. Then the dog takes the handler to the person, performing
Tracking/trailing dogs predominantly work by constantly checking the
ground for scent of the particular person they are searching for.
They are started by being told to smell an article of clothing
belonging to that person. Thus, they discriminate this person's
scent from others. They are started at the place last seen, where the
trail of scent is known to start. These dogs usually are worked in a
harness and on a long lead, and the handler goes wherever the dog
leads him, ultimately following the direction the person took until they
catch up to him.
Notice that the word used to describe where the dog looks for scent
is PREDOMINANTLY ground or wind. Both types of dogs actually get the
scent from wherever they can, and do not always restrict themselves
to just ground or air scent.
There are, of course, some variations in the methods as well. Some
airscent dogs are trained to scent discriminate also, such that they
will only alert on the subject and not other searchers. The trained
"find alert" can also vary tremendously. Trailing dogs are sometimes
worked off lead, and sometimes can be assigned to an area to try to
find the trail of scent.
There are certain search scenarios that are well suited for dogs. The
best use of an airscent dog is for searching a large area. This is
because the dog does most of the leg work by ranging away from the
handler for good distances. Trailing dogs are handy for determining
the correct direction of travel from the place last seen. In all
cases, the fresher the scent, the more likely the dog will be useful
as a resource. This is why handlers are appreciative if they are
called as one of the search's first resources.
Using dogs also has it's pitfalls. Breezy wind conditions can reek
havoc on scent, literally blowing it to the next county. Large areas
of scent where the subject spent a lot of time, called scent pools,
can cause the dog to circle around indefinitely. Hot weather and
deep snow can make a dog's usefulness amount to zero. They are
certainly not infallible.
Cibola's canine unit has both airscent and trailing dogs. We have
been in the process of developing evaluation standards for
determining mission-readiness in our dogs. This summer, we hope to
have most of our dogs mission ready. In the meantime, our unit's
biggest goal is to convey to the rest of the team, and the search
community in general, how serious we are about developing a good
reputation. We are strict with each other about conducting ourselves
and our dogs in a professional manner. We feel strongly about how a
search dog should behave at search base and in the field. When a dog is
present at search base, everyone there assumes he is a trained,
mission-ready dog. We want everyone's assumption to be correct! I
believe that these feelings are clear when you read the canine unit
guidelines in Appendix E of the new Cibola Member Guide (please take
a moment to read them!).
I would like to extend an invitation to everyone to talk to anyone
on the canine unit about our goals, trainings, or the guidelines. We
are striving to continue to be an interwoven part of Cibola SAR,
not a separate entity.
I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and at age four my family moved to Anaheim, California. I attended elementary school and then in seventh grade moved to Encino, California. I graduated from Encino High School in 1967 and had been active in band for ten years and a member of the Encino Police Explorer Troop. I got my first job at 14 years old and by the time I graduated, I was putting in about 40 hours a week at work along with high school. Upon graduating from high school, it was a given that you would be drafted in the Marines or Army, so I enlisted in the Air Force.
|Member Spotlight: Don Gibson
After six months training as a weapons specialist, I volunteered for the Air Commands and completed gunship training along with two survival schools, the last being snake school in the Philippines.
I arrived in Danang, Vietnam at 19 years old and spent the next year flying on fixed winged gunships as an aerial gunner.
Returning to the states, I was assigned to load nuclear weapons on F-106 jets at Hamilton Air Base, San Francisco. In 1971 I went back to Vietnam as a sergeant and instructor gunner flying missions over Laos. It was on this tour that my crew was involved in a shoot-down and I got first hand knowledge of being on the other side of a search and rescue mission.
After my discharge in 1972, I married my high school sweetheart, that lasted fourteen years, and worked many jobs leading up to general manager of an industrial tool company.
In 1978, at the urging of our parents, my two brothers, myself, our three wives and Mom and Dad moved to Los Lunas, New Mexico to start up Accutrak Manufacturing Corporation, building horse and equipment trailers. In 1980 we formed Three G's Properties, investing in real estate.
In 1992 live was good, I had a divorce, both business ventures were successful, and I had more time off. It was then I met Bruce Berry. He was looking for a trailer to carry a snowcat on SAR missions. That perked my interest and shortly thereafter I joined Cibola SAR. Bruce never did buy a trailer from me.
When I joined CSAR we had a dozen members and on one of my first training hikes uphill (I've never gone downhill in SAR), Mary Berry nicknamed me "Wheezer", she didn't like me spitting up pieces of my lungs on her pack. After three years in the field, I decided to find a better route for my lungs so I went to field coordinator school and I'm now a Type II Incident Commander in District 5.
I've watched CSAR grow from a dozen to four dozen active members, and just as important, the state of New Mexico re-structure it's search methods to allow us to be more effective on a SAR mission.
At present I serve on three Board of Directors and I am secretary of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 318 in Albuquerque.
The only hobbies I have are SAR and sailing (I've got a good buy on a 15 foot West Wright Potter, Jib and Main Sails, and a 3 H.P. motor).
What I enjoy most about SAR are the people, not the missions. We've got an outstanding team within the state and it's the members that make it that way. I've been and done some interesting things in my life, but I don't believe I've ever had more enjoyment than working with this group of people in the wee morning hours, and of course, breakfast.
The web server for our development site at Sandia changed last month to a bigger, faster machine. If you have a bookmark that looks like "http://bali.ms.sandia.gov/csar", it should be changed to "http://www.ctbt.rnd.doe.gov/csar"
(call me if you don't know how to modify a bookmark). CSAR members should still see their name at the top of the page. Call me if you have problems accessing the web site -- I'll be happy to help.
This year's ESCAPE is again at Bonita Park, near Ruidoso (May 10-11).
The next NMESC newsletter will have the Registration forms for the
ESCAPE. I'll make copies of the newsletter which will be distributed
at the March meeting. In addition, the newsletter will have brief
descriptions of this year's course offerings.
||by John Mindock
Remember that the team reimburses registration fees. The fee schedule
will be in the newsletter.
The team will not handle registration, etc. - you are responsible for
that. The team does not reimburse for any 'late fees' - just for the
basic registration amount.
|Winter Mission in the Pecos Wilderness
||by John Mindock
The callout came at about 2200 Friday night. Two lost snow-shoers on the
Windsor trail in the Pecos wilderness near Santa Fe. By about 2300, St. John's
team 1 was headed up the trail. The temperature was in the teens with
below-zero wind chills, and a snowstorm was predicted for Saturday night.
Early Saturday morning, team 1 found tracks that likely belonged to the
subjects. They followed the tracks over the hill and into the drainage. The
snow was waist-deep and occasionally neck-deep.
At 0800 they got a response, and found the subjects at 0830. The boy was
hypothermic, unable to walk, and the woman was shivering. Both had wet clothing
and nothing for backup. The team gave them sleeping bags and dry clothes, and
got them into a sunny spot on the snow. The team was quite tired from the trek,
the cold, and the lack of sleep. There was too much snow to make a fire, but
there was sunshine for some warmth. Sunset would be about 1700.
The standard evacuation option for this area is to struggle back up the
drainage and down the Windsor trail. However, they needed an akja for the boy.
If they took this option, with the wait for the akja to be dragged up to them,
they estimated it would be past midnight Saturday before they got out.
Another option was to get up to a landing zone (LZ) which was one kilometer
from them, 500 feet elevation gain (to about 10000 ft.). They didn't think they
could do the evacuation with only three of them, trying to limp along with the
boy and the woman.
The decision was made to use a National Guard chopper to drop off another team
and an akja at the LZ. Unfortunately, that team got onto the wrong drainage,
and did not meet up with Team 1 until about 1330.
Their progress back to the LZ was hampered by deep snow, and ended up being a
series of exhausting 50 yard segments. They finally completed the kilometer to
the LZ at 1600, hard work for more than 2 hours on what is a 15 minute trip in
summer. The subjects were evacuated first, and the team got to Incident Base
Team 1 was in bitter cold and deep snow, with alternate periods of exhausting
work and waiting around at high elevation, for a total of 18 hours. This
scenario is not uncommon for missions in the Pecos area. Consider your own
level of physical fitness, as well as the clothing, gear, food, and water you
carry in your winter search pack. Make sure you have the conditioning and
equipment needed to avoid hypothermia and frostbite before you go into the
field on a Pecos mission in winter.
Wind Speed Estimation Guide (MPH)
|25-31||Large branches moving. Whistling heard in overhead wires.|
|32-38||Whole trees moving. Inconvenience in walking against wind.|
|39-46||Small branches break (twigs). Impedes walking.|
|47-54||Slight structural damage. Larger branches and weak limbs may break.|
|55-63||Moderate structural and tree damage.|
|65+||Heavy to severe structural and tree damage.|
Randall Wahlert has received his dealer license at the auto auction. If anyone is looking for a vehicle give him a call.
Congratulations to Larry and Vangie Mervine who were married on January 17th!!!!
The information in this newsletter was gathered from many sources and presents facts as we believe them to be true. This newsletter is not meant to be an official document, but a means to disseminate team information.
||(20 words maximum, no services)